What You Need to Know About Budget 2017

Other than the broken promise of reducing/eliminating the deficit that was a key part of the campaign promises by this Federal Liberal Government what exactly are the key provisions in the just released 2017 Federal Budget trotted out by Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau this past week.

With all of the hoopla south of the border maybe the Liberals were hoping nobody was paying attention and they could slide this one through without much fanfare but they can guess again because we are paying attention and wondering how they can go from promising a $10 billion dollar limit in new deficit spending to heading north of 3 times that amount without blinking an eye.

Some of the key highlights of the budget include the proverbial sin taxes on alcohol but in a new twist this Liberal Government has tied the tax increase on the dreaded elixir to the cost on inflation. So, if inflation rises so too does the tax on your favourite alcoholic beverage.

The document also tries a new approach on the deficit busting promise by stating that the new course of action is to reduce the ratio of Federal Debt to GDP over the full course of the mandate given them by the Canadian public which seems to be the only promise left to make after breaking the first one less than a year after coming in to office.

The budget does have some good news for those who are having children or already do with a serious increase in funds for those who want to take maternity leave to spend time with their newborn babies and increases funding for daycare spots and for those struggling to take care of elderly or ill family members by a grand total of $7 Billion collectively.

$3 billion is being earmarked for future innovation so that Canadians will be able to access higher paying advanced manufacturing and clean energy tech jobs as well as those in the agri-businesses and the digital sectors as well as others.

EI premiums will also rise in this budget going up by $.05 to $1.68 per $100 in insurable earnings and Uber and other ride sharing platforms will also have to start paying GST/HST so that the playing field is a little more level for Uber and the traditional taxi services.

The Liberals are also committed to investing a respectable $5.2 Billion in to more skills training for those Canadians who may have found themselves unemployed due to the downturn in the energy sector that shows little chance of returning to its former glory, at least any time soon.

The budget also changes the rules so that out of work Canadians can access training or go back to school without having to forego their E.I. benefits in an effort to get more Canadians off the system and back to work with little penalty for doing so.

This budget literally has something for everyone so make sure to have a read or get a breakdown and see what you think.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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