Federal budget highlights

Key points from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 2012 federal budget, tabled in the House of Commons Thursday.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has delivered a deficit-cutting budget in the House of Commons. Here is a look at some of its key details and measures:

  • Savings of $5.2 billion a year by 2015. 
  • 19,200 federal public sector jobs cut over three years. 
  • Return to surplus by 2015 (an election year). 2012-13 deficit at $21.1 billion. 
  • Penny to be discontinued this fall (it still holds value for spending). 
  • Age of eligibility for Old Age Security rises gradually to 67 from 65 starting in 2023 — but does not affect anyone 54 or older as of March 31, 2012. 
  • One review for major resource development projects, capped at 24 months, including current projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline. 
  • Governor General to pay income taxes as of 2013 — but he'll get a raise. 
  • No significant tax changes for individuals.
  • Duty-free cross-border shopping limits rise this summer to $200 for 24-hour trips and $800 for trips of 48 hours or more.
  • Canada will continue with International Space Station mission to 2020. 
  • Government to clear backlog in federal skilled worker program by removing some applicants and refunding their fees. They can reapply under new criteria. 
  • Public servants to pay more into pensions under a 50/50 formula. 
  • Retirement age for federal public servants rises to 65 from 60 for people hired in 2013. 
  • A First Nations education act and $275 million to build and renovate schools on reserve, and renewal of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
  • CBC funding cut by 10 per cent over three years, with annual $60-million programming top-up rolled into base funding. 
  • Canadian Forces regular force strength remains at 68,000. Reserves stay at 27,000. 
  • Canada to review participation in some international organizations. 
  • Katimavik program for youth will be eliminated. 
  • Government will sell some official residences abroad and downsize others. 
  • Atlantic investment tax credit phased out.