PEI

6 ways the P.E.I. budget directly affects Islanders

The 2019-20 P.E.I. budget contains a lot of new spending. Here are some examples of how it could directly affect you.

The budget includes $174M in new program expenditures

The 2019-20 P.E.I. budget was released Tuesday. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

The 2019-20 P.E.I. budget contains a lot of new spending.

Here are some examples of how it could directly affect you.

Tax cuts

The basic personal amount on income tax will increase from $9,160 to $10,000.

If you own a small business, your tax rate will drop 0.5 per cent to three per cent.

The low-income threshold will go up to $18,000 from $17,000.

Making your home energy efficient

The government announced a new program to encourage Islanders to install solar energy systems.

The program is worth $500,000.

It is part of a larger, $14 million budget for grants in the Department of Environment, but much of that is for programs announced by the previous government.

That includes HST rebates for electricity, wood heating, and $3.5 million to rebate fees for driver's licences.

Finding a home

The government hopes to ease the province's housing crisis with $4.4 million dedicated to creating new affordable housing.

The program will work in collaboration with communities and developers.

Islanders who have a home, but are having trouble paying the rent, will benefit from an extra $2.2 million for rent supplements.

Mental-health supports

Budget documents promise a major transformation over the next three to four years.

For 2019-20, the government promises increased support for the mobile mental-health crisis program, mental-health services at Prince County Hospital and a forensic unit at Hillsborough Hospital.

Midwives are coming

The government has committed $150,000 to prepare for midwifery services to be established on the Island.

The money is meant to ensure the services are set up to meet current and anticipated demand. There was no timetable for when midwives will be able to start practising.

Health wait times

The province has added money to the health budget to hire a new orthopedic surgeon to decrease the wait times for knee and hip surgery.

The budget also allows for adding two family physicians to the complement in Queens County.

More P.E.I. news

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. Kevin has a specialty in data journalism, and how statistics relate to the changing lives of Islanders. He has a BSc and a BA from Dalhousie University, and studied journalism at Holland College in Charlottetown. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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