Federal budget 2016: Highlights of Bill Morneau's first budget
Big deficits to fund spending on families, infrastructure and Indigenous peoples
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has tabled a budget that forecasts big deficits over the next five years and beyond to finance a new tax-free monthly child benefit, more money for First Nations, infrastructure spending and extended employment insurance benefits to hard-hit regions.
- Liberals push deficit to spend big on families, cities
- Ottawa forecasts $29.4B deficit – with lots more red ink to come
- Federal budget revamps child and family tax benefits
- Liberals keep most of their green election promises
- Budget includes billions for Aboriginal Peoples
- More coverage of the 2016 federal budget
- Live blog recap: Experts answer your budget questions
Here are some highlights of Bill Morneau's first budget:
- Deficit: $29.4 billion this year, $29 billion the next before falling - but no surplus forecast before the next election.
- Debt: Expected to grow by $113 billion by 2020-21, but debt-to-GDP ratio to stay mostly flat at around 32 per cent.
- Growth: Deficit based on 0.4% annual growth - much lower than economists predict.
- Canada Child Benefit: New monthly tax-free payments starts July 1 to replace UCCB and other tax measures: up to $6,400 a year per child under 6, and $5,400 those aged 6 to 18. But this amount begins to claw back for households with an income over $30,000 and is eliminated entirely for incomes over $190,000.
- Tax credits: Children's arts and fitness tax credits phased out by end of 2017. But teachers get a $150 credit for teaching materials.
- EI: Changes make it easier to qualify for benefits, and extends benefits for workers in 12 hard-hit regions. Plus: a bigger-than-expected cut in EI premiums next January.
- Infrastructure: $120 billion over 10 years, focusing first on public transit, water, waste management and housing infrastructure.
- Indigenous Peoples: $8.4 billion over five years, with $2.6 billion of that to improve primary and secondary education on reserves. Other funding for drinking water and housing, as well as family and child services.
- Student grants: Increased 50%, to $3,000 for low-income and $1,200 for middle-income students.
- Arts: $1.9 billion over five years for arts and culture organizations, including the Canada Council, Telefilm Canada and the National Arts Centre. $675 million to "modernize and revitalize CBC/Radio-Canada in the digital era."
- Seniors: Guaranteed Income Supplement increased by up to $947 annually.
- Veterans: Reopens nine service offices, increases amounts payable to injured veterans and indexes some benefits to inflation.