Budget 2023 builds off the work we are already doing to help make life more affordable for Canadians. In fact, our government has been addressing affordability issues throughout our time in government. Our plan addresses affordability on may fronts and that includes long term solutions along with targeted short-term support that help those most in need.
Affordability measures we have introduced include a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to help low-income renters with the cost of renting; enhancing the Canada Worker Benefit; a 10% increase to Old Age Security; doubling of the Goods & Services Tax Credit for 6 months; indexing benefits to inflation including Canada Child Benefit, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Helping Canadians in need with affordability is what we have been doing, and Budget 2023 builds on that commitment.
We have introduced a new Grocery Rebate to help 11 million Canadians who need it most with up to an extra $467 for a family of four. Single Canadians without children could get up to $234 and seniors could receive an extra $225. That is money back in people’s pockets to use however they need.
There is an investment of $13 billion over five years to implement a dental care plan for families earning less than $90K. Budget 2023 proposes to provide $13 billion over five years, starting in 2023–24, and $4.4 billion ongoing, to Health Canada to implement the new Canadian Dental Care Plan. The plan will provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with no co‑pays for those with family incomes under $70,000. The plan is expected to begin rolling out by the end of 2023 and will be administered by Health Canada, with support from a third‑party benefits administrator.
We are adding into the support we have provided to post-secondary students over the past years to help post-secondary students afford their education without worry. These enhancements to student financial assistance will allow for thousands of students to access grants, loans, and the benefits of federal aid.
We have now reached the one-year anniversary of the agreement with the Government of Ontario to deliver $10-a-day childcare. The Government of Canada is providing $10.2 billion through 2025-2026 to help improve licensed early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the province. Subject to the renewal of the Agreement, Ontario’s estimated allocation would total $13.2 billion from 2021-2022 to 2026-2027. Through these investments, the governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to increase access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services, with the goal of ensuring that Ontario families have access to licensed child care for an average of $10-a-day by March 2026. Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care will grow the economy, allow more women to enter the workforce and help give every child in Canada the best start in life.
Canada Dental Care Plan
Last year, we rolled out the Canada Dental Benefit for families with children under 12, committing to expanding on this to create a Canada-wide dental care plan.
In Budget 2023, we are reiterating our commitment with a proposed $13 billion over five years to implement the Canadian Dental Care Plan.
This plan will provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with an annual family income of less than $90,000. Canadians with an annual family income of less than $70,00 would have no co-pays.
The Canadian Dental Care Plan would be rolled out by the end of 2023.
In addition to the Dental Care Plan, we are proposing $250 million over three years to establish an Oral Health Access Fund, which will invest in reducing barriers to accessing care among vulnerable populations.
Canadians everywhere have been impacted by the rising cost of groceries, causing unnecessary stress.
We’ve introduced a one-time Grocery Rebate in Budget 2023, a $2.5 billion investment that is targeted inflation relief to Canadians.
The Grocery Rebate will provide eligible coupes with two children up to $467, single Canadians without children up to $234, and seniors with $225 on average.
The Grocery Rebate will allow for Canadians to receive relief without making inflation worse.
Supporting Post-Secondary Students
Thousands of post-secondary students rely on federal assistance to be able to afford the cost of their education, housing, and everyday essentials.
We are adding into the support we’ve provided to post-secondary students over the past years to help post-secondary students afford their education without worry.
We’re proposing $813.6 million in 2023-24 to:
- Increase Canada Student Grants by 40 per cent;
- Raise the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study; and,
- Waive the requirement for students 22 or older to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for grants and loans for the first time.
These enhancements to student financial assistance will allow for thousands of students to access grants, loans, and the benefits of federal aid.
We are also proposing an increase on limits for certain Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) withdrawals.
Tax-Free First Home Savings Account
Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home.
With the rising cost of living, however, many Canadians, especially young people and new Canadians, have been increasingly worried about their ability to afford a home in the future.
We are acting on this concern and are introducing the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account.
As of April 1, 2023, first-time home buyers will be eligible to open a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account.
This account will allow first-time home buyers to save up to $40,000 on a tax-free basis, similar to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
Canadians can contribute up to $8,000 per year, which they can deduct from their income at tax time.
This savings account will ensure that first-time home buyers are prepared and able to afford the down payment.
Automatic Tax Filing
Many low-income Canadians do not have the resources to file their taxes and in turn are missing out on valuable benefits and supports that they are entitled to.
The Canada Revenue Agency has delivered a free and simple File My Return service over the phone for eligible Canadians, allowing thousands of Canadians to have free help in filing their taxes.
With Budget 2023, we’re announcing an increase to eligible Canadians with this service to two million by 2025, which is almost triple the current number.
The CRA will also pilot a new automatic filing service, starting next year, that will help vulnerable Canadians who do not file their taxes receive the benefits they are entitled to.
Cracking Down on Fees
Canadians see an unnecessary amount of fees in their daily lives from internet overage charges to additional airline charges.
In Budget 2023, we are taking action to crack down on these junk fees and ensuring that businesses are transparent with their prices.
We have full intention to work with regulatory agencies, provinces, and territories to reduce junk fees from all sectors.
In addition to reducing junk fees on a daily basis, we’ve secured commitments from Visa and Mastercard to reduce credit card transaction fees for small businesses. This is expected to save eligible small businesses in Canada approximately $1 billion over five years.
Canadians and small businesses should be able to have full transparency with their spending.