Budget 2014-2015 - Press Release 6 of 7 - Stronger Support for Seniors, Families and the Most Vulnerable

QUÉBEC, June 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - In tabling Québec's Budget 2014-2015, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão announced various measures to provide stronger support to families, seniors and the most vulnerable.

To encourage active living for seniors, the government will introduce a refundable tax credit of 20% of eligible expenses, up to $200, for physical, artistic and cultural activities for seniors.

In addition, the needs of seniors will be taken into greater consideration in the carrying out of small-scale infrastructure or urban planning projects under the Municipalité amie des aînés program. The government will double the enhancement budget for this program. "With this assistance, more than 50 new urban planning projects a year for seniors will be carried out," the Minister explained.

$50 million more for sports and physical activity
The Minister announced an additional injection of $50 million into the Sports and Physical Activity Development Fund using revenues from the specific tax on tobacco products. This investment will make it possible to fund more projects, such as indoor and outdoor skating rinks, pools, tennis courts, soccer fields, sports arenas, multisport facilities and various other projects, in all regions of Québec.

Cancellation of the $2-a-day increase in the rate for childcare services
"The childcare spaces program is a mainstay of Québec's family policy and one of the factors that contributed to the increase in the birth rate. Since its inception, the program has enabled tens of thousands of women to re-enter the labour market. We want to continue developing new childcare spaces," the Minister stated.

"I am announcing that our government is cancelling the $2-a-day increase in the rate for childcare services planned by the previous government. That increase would have negatively impacted the most disadvantaged families. The daily rate will be indexed according to the rate of growth in the cost of the program," he went on to say.

The parental contribution will rise to $7.30 as of October 1, 2014. Another 6 300 childcare spaces will be created as of this year, then 4 000 spaces each subsequent year until completion of the network.

Construction of 3 000 social housing units
The Minister pointed out that rent is often a household's biggest spending item. In the case of low-income families, the cost of rent reduces their ability to meet other basic needs. He confirmed the support provided to economically disadvantaged households to meet their housing needs.

"We will be investing $250 million in the construction of 3 000 new social, community and affordable housing units in all regions of Québec. I am announcing that 500 of those units will be set aside for homeless people. The other 2 500 units will go to the program's clientele at large, and in particular to seniors and the Aboriginal populations concerned," the Minister concluded.

SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances

For further information:

Andrée-Lyne Hallé
Press Relations Officer
Office of the Minister of Finance
418 643-5270
514 873-5363

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