As Mayor, many people have asked me today what my thoughts were on the Federal Government budget released yesterday. And, any thoughts on how Guelph fits into it?
My initial thoughts are that this budget is positive for families, seniors, businesses and municipalities.
The headline grabber for me, is the proposed surplus that is projected by the government. How it was achieved can be questioned, and will be questioned all day long, but a surplus if achieved is a good thing. The deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the global economic and financial crisis to a projected surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015–16.
For families, I see income-splitting and I see claims to provide assistance to families through tax relief by increasing the limits on tax free savings accounts to $10,000. They are reaffirming a commitment to reduce employment insurance premiums in 2017 and extending Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from 6 weeks to 6 months to support Canadians providing care for family members. However this will cost $37 million annually.
Businesses seems to a winner as well. Especially with the continued breaks in taxes to small business as it proposes to reduce the tax rate from 11% to 9% by 2019. Manufacturing receives up to $100 million over 5 years, starting in 2015-2016, to support product development and technology by Canadian auto parts suppliers through a new Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. Yet some of the funds will come from the existing Automotive Innovation Fund. We have a large manufacturing sector in Guelph, and in the automotive category, so this I’m sure will be of interest to them.
Seniors and persons with accessibility issues get a new tax credit to retrofit their homes.
As a member of FCM, a release was sent out as well. It is HERE.
Also, AMO has stated this below about transit commitments found in this budget:
Highlights for Municipal Governments:
- Commitment to create a new permanent Public Transit Fund for expanding infrastructure in major mass transit systems across Canada. The fund will start in 2017-18 with $750 million over two years and increase to $1 billion annually thereafter. Funding design and eligibility are not yet known.
So there are some initial thoughts on what was presented. I am now awaiting the next budget from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and I will share my thoughts on that with you as well.