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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Federal Budget Highlights

Regional | by Bayshore News Staff  

Highlights of Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget delivered on Tuesday.

with files from the Canadian Press

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's new federal budget calls for total spending of 278.7 billion dollars in the fiscal year that starts April 1st -- up one per cent from 2010-11.

Here are the highlights:

- Improved pension benefit for lowest-income seniors of up to 600 dollars a year for singles and 840 dollars for couples, starting in July.

- New caregiver tax credit worth a maximum of 300 dollars a year starting in 2012.

- New initiative to attract health-care workers to rural and remote communities by forgiving up to 40-thousand dollars in student loans for doctors and 20-thousand for nurses.

- 400 million dollars to extend for an extra year the ecoENERGY program giving homeowners grants of up to five-thousand dollars for energy efficient improvements.

- New children's art credit worth up to 75-dollars a year starting this year.

- One-time Hiring Credit for small businesses of up to one-thousand dollars to offset Employment Insurance increases this year.

- New tax credit worth up to 450 dollars for volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service.

- Deficit projected to fall from 40.5 billion dollars in fiscal 2010 to 29.6 billion in fiscal 2011 and to be virtually eliminated by 2014-2015.

-  Total debt rises to 586 billion dollars in 2011-2012.

- Legislation to make the two billion dollar Gas Tax Fund permanent to provide predictable infrastructure funding for municipalities.


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