2008-2009 BUDGET - Press release 4 of 6 - 2008-2009 Budget Speech - SUPPORTING OUR FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN

    QUEBEC, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2008-2009 Budget, tabled today before
the National Assembly by Minister of Finance, Minister of Government Services,
Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du
trésor Monique Jérôme-Forget, presents a series of measures to further support
    Families have always been at the heart of our government's concerns and
initiatives. For example, we:

    - repatriated from the federal government and implemented the Québec
      Parental Insurance Plan, the most generous program in Canada;
    - attained our target of 200 000 reduced-contribution daycare spaces;
    - introduced the Child Assistance payment up to the age of 18;
    - reduced the income tax of all families.

    Our government is devoting today more than 5 billion dollars a year in
support for families. The 2008-2009 Budget presents new support measures for

    Daycare services and expenses

    This budget provides for new measures to improve daycare services,

    - the creation of another 20 000 daycare spaces over five years. This
      will raise the number of spaces in the subsidized daycare network to
      220 000;
    - a substantial improvement to the tax credit for child care expenses.
      Thus, the cost of child care services will be the same, regardless of
      whether a subsidized daycare centre or an unsubsidized private daycare
      centre is used, up to a family income of 80 000 dollars.

    Support for children in a situation of vulnerability

    In recent years, the government has taken a number of steps to improve
academic success. For example, the government allocated more than 140 million
dollars to hire over 2 600 professionals to assist children with learning
difficulties during their schooling. Today, the government is going further by

    - the creation of a $400-million fund over 10 years, in partnership with
      the Chagnon family, to foster the development of children age 5 and
      under in a situation of vulnerability.

    "This fund will finance initiatives that foster the complete development
of children to better prepare them for school. I want to pay tribute to and
salute the major contribution to Québec society and the social involvement of
Lucie and André Chagnon and their children" declared the Finance Minister.

    Assistance for assisted human reproduction and adoption

    To further help individuals who wish to become parents, the rate of the
refundable tax credits for the treatment of infertility and for adoption
expenses will be raised from 30% to 50%. This improvement will enable people
who opt for one of the two main treatments for infertility, namely, artificial
insemination and in vitro fertilization, to receive tax assistance of up to
$10 000 a year. For those who turn to adoption, tax assistance of up to
$10 000 per child adopted will be granted.
    "This budget demonstrates once again the importance of families for our
government. Our actions have borne fruit. Today, the number of Québec births
is significantly higher. But we must continue on this course. This budget does
much more yet to support families", concluded Minister Jérôme-Forget.
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For further information:

For further information: Catherine Poulin, Press Officer, Office of the
Minister of Finance, Minister of Government Services, Minister responsible for
Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, (418) 643-5270,
(514) 873-5363, www.finances.gouv.qc.ca

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