Quoting “government sources”, CBC News is reporting that Budget 2011 will contain provisions to forgive student loans for rural doctors and nurses and provide $400 million funding to renew the ecoEnergy Retrofit Grants program that was set to expire on March 31, 2011. Last week, CBC News reported that the budget will boost transfer payments (likely the Guaranteed Income Supplement) to senior citizens by $700 million.
The Toronto Star’s version of the Budget leak says that the Feds will introduce yet another tax credit for parents whose children enrol in arts programs. I’m not particularly fond of these so-called targeted tax credits. We already have the transit tax credit, children’s fitness tax credit and textbook tax credit, all introduced in the past few years. Pretty soon, if there is an activity you can think of, the Government will have a tax credit for it.
Based on submissions made as part of pre-budget consultations, KPMG says that the Government may consider increasing the thresholds at which the two highest tax rates apply, boost TFSA and RRSP contribution limits, raise the age of converting a RRSP to a RRIF and reduce the minimum annual RRIF withdrawal amounts.
The budget leaks so far seem to indicate an attempt by the Tories to accommodate the demands made by the NDP. But there is no mention yet of another NDP demand to exempt home heating bills from the GST/HST in any of the leaks so far. Perhaps, this will be a surprise when Budget 2011 is unveiled at 4 PM on March 22, 2011.