Making Life More Affordable 

Backgrounder

The 2022 Fall Economic Statement includes new, targeted cost of living support measures to make life more affordable for the Canadians most affected by rising prices.

The government will continue to be there for the Canadians who need it most. The government’s support has been carefully designed to avoid making inflation worse.

Doubling the Goods and Services (GST) Tax Credit for Six Months

Starting November 4, 2022, an estimated 11 million low- and modest-income current GST Credit recipients will automatically receive an additional payment. Single Canadians without children will receive up to an extra $234, and couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467. Seniors will receive an extra $225 on average.

A Top-Up to the Canada Housing Benefit

In September 2022, the government also introduced the top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit, which upon Parliamentary approval, will deliver a tax-free payment of $500 directly to 1.8 million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.

The federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for single Canadians, who pay at least 30 per cent of their income towards rent.

A new, quarterly Canada Workers Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) is a refundable tax credit that tops up the income of about 3 million of our lowest-paid, and often most essential workers in a typical year. It is currently delivered through tax returns, meaning Canadians who receive it need to wait until the tax year is over to receive the support that helps them pay for day-to-day essentials like groceries and rent.

The 2022 Fall Economic Statement proposes to provide $4 billion over six years, starting in 2022-23, to automatically issue advance payments of the CWB to people who qualified for the benefit in the previous year, starting in July 2023 for the 2023 taxation year. Workers would receive a minimum entitlement for the year through advance payments based on income reported in the prior year’s tax return, and any additional entitlement for the year would be provided when filing their tax return for the year.

The CWB would provide up to $1,428 for single workers or up to $2,461 for a family this spring through the existing tax return payment, and then new advance payments for 2023 across three quarterly advance payments starting in July, putting more money in workers’ pockets to help cope with the rising cost of living.

Eliminating Interest on Student Loans

With life becoming more expensive for many recent graduates, the government is taking new, permanent steps to reduce the burden of student loans on young Canadians so they can invest in building their futures.

The 2022 Fall Economic Statement proposes to make the federal portion of all Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans permanently interest-free, including those currently being repaid.

The Canada Dental Benefit

As a first step towards making dental care more affordable, in September 2022, the government introduced legislation to implement the Canada Dental Benefit, to provide eligible parents or guardians with direct, up-front tax-free payments to cover dental expenses for their children under 12-years-old. This will benefit an estimated 500,000 Canadian children.

For those without dental coverage and with an annual family income under $90,000 per year, the Canada Dental Benefit will provide payments of up to $650 per year, over the next two years.

Lowering Credit Card Transaction Fees for Small Businesses

The government intends to enter into negotiations with the payment card industry and businesses to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses in a manner that does not adversely affect other businesses and protects existing reward points for consumers.

On November 3, the government published draft legislative amendments to the Payment Card Networks Act. Should the industry not come to an agreed solution in the months to come, the government will move forward with these draft legislative proposals in the New Year and move forward on regulating credit card transaction fees.

How We’re Already Helping Canadians with the Cost of Living

Prior to the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, this year, Canadians have already been receiving significant new support through the government’s Affordability Plan. This includes:

A more generous Canada Workers Benefit available to more low-income Canadians than before to support an estimated three million low-income or minimum wage workers this year. A couple will receive up to $2,461, and single workers will receive up to $1,428 in CWB for 2022. Most recipients first received additional CWB support through their 2021 tax refund.

Cutting child care fees by an average of 50 per cent by the end of this year for families across Canada with children in regulated child care, and making more child care spaces available in Quebec.

Increasing the Old Age Security (OAS) pension by 10 per cent for seniors 75 years and older, which began in July 2022, to provide more than $800 in new support to full pensioners over the first year, and increase benefits for more than three million seniors.

Important benefits being indexed to inflation, including the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Pension Plan, OAS, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

More support for students by doubling the Canada Student Grant to provide up to $6,000 per year until July 2023.

 

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