Event: Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit
Venue: Ministers’ Regional Office, St. John’s, NL
Date: June 26, 2015
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Good morning, everyone! Thank you for your kind introduction. And my thanks to our regional team here in the Ministers' Regional Office for organizing and hosting us today.
I've raised four busy children, so I know first-hand that enrolling our kids in sports, recreational, and cultural activities is a good investment … but the costs can certainly add up!
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government is committed to supporting Canadian families as we help our children reach their full potential.
We know that there are many costs involved in raising a family and that every little bit helps. It's why we have cut taxes. Since coming to office, we've cut taxes of all kinds—personal income taxes, business taxes, the GST.
That's also why we have introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit—or the UCCB.
Some of you may already know about this benefit—in fact, you may be receiving it already!
This is the monthly benefit families receive to support children who are under six years old.
From the time this benefit was first introduced, in July 2006, through to January 2015, we have issued approximately $22.6 billion dollars in UCCB payments.
Now, we want to do even more for families.
So we're enhancing the UCCB in two ways. First, your benefit will increase to almost $2,000 per year for each child under age 6.
Second, the benefit will be extended to families with children aged 6 through 17. These families will receive $720 per year for each child.
The enhanced benefit amounts take effect as of January 1, 2015. Parents will receive their first enhanced UCCB payment in July 2015, which will include a catch-up payment for the January to June period.
- for each child under six, you'll receive up to $520 this July, and $160 per month starting in August.
- for a child aged six through seventeen, you'll receive up to $420 this July and $60 per month starting in August.
If you've got kids under 18, you qualify. Period.
It doesn't matter how much money you earn or the child care you choose.
Last year, this benefit helped 1.6 million families. Now, 4 million families with children will benefit from the enhanced UCCB.
The majority of families will automatically receive their payments. That's because their eligibility is already up to date in our system.
However, if you have children who are 14 to 17 years old now, they were too old to be eligible for the UCCB when it was introduced in 2006.
If your family has never received the UCCB or applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, you are not automatically registered by our systems.
This is important: families with children between the ages of 14 and 17 may have to apply to receive the newly enhanced UCCB.
The application deadline to receive the first enhanced payment was May 15, 2015. But if you missed this deadline, you can still apply at any time and payments are still retroactive to January 1, 2015.
We're making these investments without raising taxes. In fact, we're lowering taxes for families.
Once this year's budget takes effect, a typical two-earner family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015.
We have also introduced the Family Tax Cut, which allows couples with kids to transfer a portion of the higher earner's income to the lower earner. This will lower their tax bill by as much as $2,000.
Our Government trusts parents to spend their money on what's best for their children. We believe Mom and Dad are the real child care experts.
That's why the family tax cuts and benefits guarantee that all families with kids—regardless of circumstance or income—have more money in their pockets.
To balance a budget, it takes tough decisions, a focus on priorities and sound fiscal management.
Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, we have balanced the budget and now we are helping families balance theirs.
Only our Government is committed to ensuring that parents have the resources and the support they need.
I want to thank you all for coming today and for taking time out of your busy schedules. The feedback we receive from you, the people on the ground, goes a long way to informing our policy discussions around the Cabinet table in Ottawa.