Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Budget Highlights - More Money In My Pocket Is a Good Thing

Kirsten Smith, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The budget calls for about $30 billion in new spending which includes the reallocation of $3.6 billion in current expenditures. Here are the highlights.

Personal Income taxes

- Reduce the GST from 7 per cent to 6 per cent at a cost of $8.6 billion over two years.

- Create a new Canada Employment Credit worth up to $1000. This will cost $2.7 billion over two years.

- Reduce the lowest tax rate from 16 per cent to 15.5 per cent. This will cost $3 billion dollars over two years.

- The basic personal exemption, the amount you can earn tax free, will increase slightly to $8,839. This change will cost $1.58 billion over two years.

- Changes to the rules to allow for the family transfer of fishing property at cost of $120 million over two years.

Education and Training.

- Creation of the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for employers to offset the cost of hiring apprentices. This will cost $390 million over two years.

- Creation of the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant of $1,000 per year to encourage people to enter the trades. This will cost about $110 million over two years.

- A $500 deduction for the cost of new tools over $1,000. This will cost $155 million over the next two years.

- Elimination of federal income tax on scholarships, bursaries and fellowships. This program will cost $95 million over two years.

- Creation of the Textbook Tax Credit, which will cost $260 million over two years.

- Expanding the number of students who can use the Canada Student Loans Program

- Investing in research and development at a cost of $200 million over two years.

New Canadians

- Reduce the right or Permanent Residence Fee from $975 per person to $490. This will cost of $224 million over two years

- Increase in immigration settlement funding to $307 million over two years

- Progress on foreign credential recognition. $18 million over two years.

Jobs and the Economy

- Elimination of the federal capital tax at a cost of $1.02 billion

- Reducing taxes for small business, which will cost $90 million over two years.

- Repealing the excise tax on jewelry will cost $80 million over two years.

- Reducing excise duties for small vintners and brewers at a cost of $35 million over two years.

- Eliminate the double taxation of large corporate dividends will costs $685 over two years.

- A mineral exploration tax credit will cost $65 million over two years.

- Modify the minimum tax on financial institutions will cost $45 million over two years.

Security and policing

- $204 million to the RCMP for hiring and expanding the training depot.

- $20 million for youth crime prevention

- $15 million for the DNA databank

- $26 million for victims of crime

- $38 million for emergency response

- $95 million for passenger rail and urban transit security.

- $133 million to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

- For various programs to enhance border security, national emergency response, a no fly list and arming border guards will cost $404 million over two years.

- Preparing for a pandemic, $460 over two years

The military

- $1.125 billion for the Canadian Armed Forces. This will hire more troops, buy unspecified equipment, improved base infrastructure and Arctic sovereignty and restore a regular army presence in British Columbia.

Aboriginal Canadians

- Over the next two years the Government will spend $450 million on education, women, water and housing

- There is already $2.2 billion set aside for payments to residential school survivors.

- There is a further $600 million for off reserve and northern housing but it is contingent upon a large enough budget surplus for 2005-06. The final figures will not be released until the fall of 2006.

Environment

- A tax credit on the purchase of public transit passes to encourage the use of mass transit. This will cost $370 million over two years.

- Accelerate capital cost allowance for forestry bioenergy. This will cost $30 million over two years.

Infrastructure

- Highways and border fund will cost $585 million over two years.

- The Pacific Gateway Initiative at $91 million over two years.

- $181 million over two years for the Strategic Infrastructure Fund

- $532 million over two years to renew the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.

The Arts

- Eliminate capital gains on donations to charities will cost $110 million over two years.

- The Canada Council of the Arts will receive $50 million extra in the next two years.

Families

- Universal Child Care Benefit to children under six. This measure will cost $3.7 billion in the next two years.

- $250 million over two years to create new childcare spaces.

- Physical fitness tax credit for children under 16 will cost $200 million over two years.

- An increase the to Child Disability Benefit will cost $80 million over the next two years.

- $104 million over two years for a national cancer strategy.

- Tax assistance to pensioners will cost $895 million in the next two years.

Agriculture

- $400 million over two years to combat the pine beetle infestation, mostly in B.C

- Improving farm support programs will cost $2 billion in the next two years.

The Provinces

- One time extra funding of $255 million for equalization.

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