Here’s what you need to know right now – further analysis to follow.
Minutes ago, the Federal Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, began presenting the Federal Budget for 2018/19 to the House of Commons.
National GDP is projected to grow by 2.2% in 2018, but the growth rate is expected to fall below 2% in subsequent years. In that fiscal context, the Government will continue to run deficits through 2022/23, though the Federal debt-to-GDP ratio will be reduced over that time period.
High profile spending initiatives and policy proposals in the Budget include:
Science Funding: $1.7 billion dollars in funding over five years for Canada’s granting agencies and research institutes, plus $1.3 billion dollars in funding over five years for physical research infrastructure.
Indigenous Services: $5 billion in additional funding for Indigenous health, clean water, education, and cultural services, plus separate additional funding for housing in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.
Small Business Taxation: Final proposals on the changes to the taxation rules for Canadian-controlled private corporations, including a new framework for how a corporation’s passive income in excess of $50,000 is taxed.
Gender Budgeting: A focus on achieving gender equality in the economy and the Federal Government, including measures to increase Federal procurement from female entrepreneurs, a plan to eliminate the gender wage gap in the public service and Federally-regulated workplaces, creating an option for paternal leave, and focussing Canada’s international aid programs on reducing female poverty and preventing violence against women.
Workers and Parents: Allocation of additional funding to supplement the income of the working poor, indexation to inflation of the Canada Childcare Benefit, and increasing the threshold for eligible insurable income under the Wage Earner Protection Program.