Dauphin, Canada

There was a lot of talk in this week's federal budget of debts, deficits, and doing the right thing, but what does that all mean?

To help get a better perspective on how the budget can affect the average person, we talked to Dauphin MNP Partner Tere Stykalo, and he says it might depend on who you are.

 

Families

For families, the most significant change this year is the new Canada Child Benefit.

The new program, which kicks in this June, merges the current child benefit programs into one, and changes who gets what back.

Stykalo says wealthier families will not get as much back as before.

"That will be based on income, and there will be a chart to, you know, depending on the household and the number of children and your income, it will phase out gradually over your income level."

The federal government estimates that 9 out of 10 families will receive more under the Canada Child Benefit, and the benefit is tax-free.

 

Seniors

The situation does not look too gloomy for seniors.

Stykalo says seniors will also receive a boost in their incomes.
 
"If they qualify for guaranteed income supplements, and if they are maxing out that supplement today, they will likely see an increase starting in July of $947 per year per senior."
 
The Liberals' first budget also cancels a decision by the former Conservative government to raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security from 65 to 67.
 
 
Students
 
Students will also get a helping hand. The budget does not impose any kind of tuition cap or freeze like some analysts initially thought, but a post secondary education will get a little more affordable for low-income students.
 
In the Canada Student Grant, full-time students from low income families can receive $3,000 a year for the 2016-17 academic year, which is up from $2,000. The grant will rise for students from middle class families by $400 to $1,200. As well, money borrowed will not have to be payed back until the graduated student is earning at least $25,000 a year.
 
However, all of this does come at the cost of a $29.4 billion deficit for this year.