The 2021 federal budget was announced last week. Oh, you were too busy getting COVID-19 tests and prepping for the local lockdown to care? That's understandable. But now that you've had a few days to settle into the slowdown, you might like some good news from Ottawa to take your mind off our outbreak. In that spirit, here are the top six things in the federal budget you should know about if you live in Halifax.
1The government is supporting students from low-income households during the c19 pandemic by extending the doubling of the Canada Student Grants until the end of July 2023. This is estimated at $3.1 billion over two years starting in 2021-22.
2The Canadian government intends to extend the waiver of interest accrual on Canadian student and apprentice loans until March 31, 2023. This change is estimated to cost $392.7 million in 2022-23. “This action would mean savings for approximately 1.5 million Canadians repaying student loans, the majority of whom are women,” the government says.
The proposed changes to the Canada Student Loans Program RAP (Repayment Assistance Plan) are really significant. We're talking around $300/month in savings for people earning $40K-$55K. It's a janky graph, I'm working through the background info to make a video 1/n pic.twitter.com/kjQ9Bo74Jd— Preet Banerjee (@preetbanerjee) April 22, 2021
3The government intends to proceed with the bill to amend the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments Act that was suspended to authorize the finance minister to make an additional fiscal equalization offset payment to Nova Scotia for 2020-21. This proposal will particularly be beneficial to Nova Scotians. And the government of Nova Scotia will have the flexibility to direct the payments according to its priorities and its residents’ needs.
There will be funding for the Privy Council Office, for a joint federal-provincial public inquiry into the April 2020 tragedy in Nova Scotia.
5The tourism industry was one of the worst hit by the pandemic recession. In Atlantic Canada, the impacts have been significant with reductions in flights compounding the impacts. The Canadian government plans to support the safe return of regional flight routes across the country.
6 The government plans to reduce fees for parents with children in regulated child care by 50 percent on average, by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2026, everywhere outside of Quebec. This is estimated to cost almost $30 billion over the next five years.