Employment and Social Development, and Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, announced on March 25 that the Harper Government will be introducing legislation in the coming days to enhance the Universal Child Care Benefit and fulfill the Government’s commitment to put money back in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families.
Under the proposed enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit, families would receive almost $2,000 per year for each child under 6 and $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts would be retroactive to January 1, 2015 and reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.
The Ministers outlined the Government’s agenda to help more Canadians get the skills they need for in demand jobs and access better labour market information that will help them make more informed career decisions to align their skills with available jobs.
Poilievre and Bergen also highlighted additional family measures, including:
• The Family Tax Cut: a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18, effective as of the 2014 tax year.
• Doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit: a tax credit that may be claimed by families whose children participated in an eligible program of physical activity. As of the 2014 taxation year, families may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child in eligible expenses, and the credit will be made refundable as of the 2015 taxation year, which will increase benefits to low- income families.
• The Child Care Expenses Deduction: the maximum dollar limits that can be claimed will increase by $1,000 starting in the 2015 tax year—from $7,000 to $8,000 for children under 7; from $4,000 to $5,000 for children aged 7 through 16; and from $10,000 to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
“Our Government is focused on helping Canadian families make ends meet by keeping more of their hard- earned money in their own pockets. If you’ve got kids under 18, you qualify for the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. Period. It doesn’t matter how much you make or the type of child care you choose. That’s Canada’s low-tax plan for families,” Poilievre said.
All families with children will benefit from the new measures. Combined with tax relief introduced by the Government since 2006, a typical family of four can receive up to $6,600 in tax relief and enhanced benefits in 2015. Low- and middle-income families will receive two-thirds of the overall benefits provided.
The Family Tax Cut will eliminate or significantly reduce the difference in the federal tax payable by a one- earner couple relative to a two-earner couple with a similar family income.
“Our Government believes parents are best positioned to decide what kind of child care is best for their children and for their individual situation. We want to help moms and dads by making whatever kind of child care they choose more affordable. I’m pleased that we will be tabling legislation to do just that this week,” Bergen said.