QUÉBEC, Nov. 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - "The government will make life
easier for families. This budget will enable tax justice, essential to
the proper functioning of our society, to be restored. Middle-class
families who struggle to make ends meet will see their financial burden
eased. Conversely, the State will require the more affluent among us to
do more. In addition, the government will work within its means to help
parents of young children—the families that build the future of the
Québec nation on a daily basis," the Minister of Finance and the
Economy, Nicolas Marceau, said in tabling the Québec government's
Reduction in the tax burden of millions of Quebecers
The Minister announced that the flat health tax is being eliminated and
replaced by a progressive health contribution as of 2013.
"We have chosen to improve the situation of as many people as possible.
Overall, 4.4 million Quebecers—over two-thirds of taxpayers—will pay
less or be fully exempt in 2013. In addition, the new progressive
health contribution will be based on individual income. From now on,
each person will pay the health contribution according to his or her
financial capacity," the Minister explained.
To offset the decrease in government revenue following the changes to
the health contribution and further improve the sharing of the effort,
the Minister announced that the tax rate on income over $100 000 will
be increased by 1.75 percentage points.
"All revenue from the new health contribution and the increase in the
tax rate on income over $100 000 will be deposited in the Fund to
Finance Health and Social Services Institutions."
Cancellation of the increase in the price of heritage electricity
"Continuing in the vein of help for families, we are giving them relief
from a substantial increase in electricity rates announced by the
previous government. At term, the planned increase of 1 ¢/kWh over five
years would have resulted in a 20% increase, or $408 a year, in the
electricity bill for an average-sized house. This increase is being
abolished," the Minister announced.
"Like many government rates, the price of heritage electricity will be
tagged to inflation. After five years, this will represent savings of
$288 a year for an average-sized house," the Minister explained.
Development of Québec children
The Minister pointed out that many Québec families do not have the
financial resources necessary for their children to be able to take
part in physical, artistic or cultural activities, activities through
which young people stay healthy, discover their talents and develop.
He announced that the government will introduce, as of 2013, a
refundable tax credit for physical, artistic and cultural activities
for children and young people aged 5 to 16. The tax credit will
reimburse 20% of eligible expenses, up to $500, for a maximum of
$100 per child. It will be available to families with an income of up
to $130 000.
The tax credit will be implemented gradually over five years, as of the
2013 taxation year. The sum of $35 million will be invested in this
measure in 2017 and subsequent years.
"As of 2014, the cumulative effects of these three measures will enable
a couple with two children and one income of $70 000 to save $334 a
year. A couple with two children and one income of $35 000 will save
$534. At term, these families will have saved $688 and $888,
respectively," the Minister said.
One child, one space
"Many families still have problems finding daycare spaces for their
children. Nearly 222 000 spaces have been created, but needs are
estimated at 250 000 spaces. I am announcing that we will fund 28 000
new spaces at $7, which will fulfil these needs. We will finally be
able to say with pride: one child, one space," the Minister proudly
Opportunity for all
Many low-income families have trouble finding housing. The government
will help these families by building 3 000 new affordable housing
An accessible university system
"Cancelling the increase in tuition fees enacted by the previous
government and repealing the unacceptable provisions of Law 12 were the
first two decisions made by our government," the Minister reminded
He mentioned that Premier Pauline Marois and her colleague the Minister
of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Pierre Duchesne,
have invited all partners to a brainstorming session and summit, to be
held in February 2013, on the issues surrounding universities.
Focusing on our culture
"Our government attaches great importance to Québec culture. I am
especially pleased to announce that the budget of the Ministère de la
Culture et des Communications will be raised by 2.1%. The culture
budget will account for 1% of government program spending."
In recent years, a number of retired workers went through tough times
when their retirement plans were affected by the financial crisis. The
crisis continues to put strong financial pressure on retirement plans.
"The issue of retirement plans is being carefully studied by the panel
of experts chaired by Alban D'Amours. As soon as we receive the
committee's recommendations, we will take action—with all of the
players concerned," the Minister stated.
He also mentioned that the government continues to consider improvements
it could make to the basic public retirement plans.
The government will offer workers who do not have access to a retirement
plan an additional means of saving for retirement, which will be
voluntary. In the coming months, it will table a bill to establish
voluntary retirement savings plans.
A government close to families
"These are actions that give Québec families a break and meet their
needs, within our means. These are the first steps in laying the
groundwork for strengthening solidarity, an important value of the
Québec nation," the Minister concluded.
SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances et de l'Économie
For further information:
Assistant Chief of Staff and Press Relations Officer
Office of the Minister of Finances and the Economy