Now that the Conservatives have won a long-coveted majority, what pocket book measures can Canadians expect from the new Government? The Election Platform put out by the Conservatives contains the following key proposals (the * represents proposals that will be implemented when the federal budget is balanced):
Children’s Arts Tax Credit: A $500 credit per child for participation in eligible arts or cultural activities. The Arts Credit was included in Budget 2011 and it is a good bet that we’ll see it in the first budget, so be sure to file those receipts away.
Family Caregiver Tax Credit: A $2,000 tax credit to support caregivers of infirm dependants.
Guaranteed Income Supplement Top-up: Extra GIS transfers of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for senior couples.
Family Tax Cut*: Allow families with children to share up to $50,000 of household income for federal income-tax purposes.
Children’s Fitness Tax Credit*: Double the value of the tax credit for physical activities from $500 to $1,000 and make it refundable.
Adult Fitness Tax Credit*: A $500 tax credit towards fitness activities for adults.
Doubling the Tax-Free Savings Account Limit*: Annual TFSA contribution limit will be boosted from the current $5,000 to $10,000.
No Changes to the Canada Pension Plan: The Conservatives will instead implement a Pooled Retirement Pension Plan.
Most of the pocket book proposals coming out of the new Government in its first few years of office are likely to be very modest. The Conservative record on election promises is somewhat mixed. While they cut the GST and sent out “beer and popcorn” cheques, they also taxed income trusts and did not fully implement a capital gains exemption.
PS: I’m delighted that this blog has yet again been included in The Globe & Mail’s list of the best of the money blogs. Many thanks to Kerry Taylor (aka Squawk Fox) and Rob Carrick for the nomination.