2008-2009 BUDGET - Press release 5 of 6 - 2008-2009 Budget Speech - IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF OUR SENIORS

    QUEBEC, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - In the wake of her colleague the Minister
responsible for Seniors' tour of Québec, Monique Jérôme-Forget, Minister of
Finance, Minister of Government Services, Minister Responsible for Government
Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor is pleased to announce major
measures to improve the quality of life of seniors in Québec.
    "Anyone who has spent their life serving family and homeland may one day
need the help of others," stated the Finance Minister in announcing the
measures for seniors contained in the 2008-2009 Budget. The government is:

    - increasing the rate of the tax credit for home support from 25% to 30%,
      representing $35 million a year more for seniors. The tax credit will
      also be greatly simplified;
    - increasing health and social services funding by $80 million to
      accelerate the development of home care services.

    These additional amounts will permit the development of home nursing
services, rehabilitation services and the other services needed so that people
losing their autonomy can remain at home. The tax assistance and funding for
home support have more than doubled since 2003.

    Informal caregivers

    "Informal caregivers play an important role in our society. We have all
taken care of a parent at one time or another. We do it out of love, but we
know how physically and emotionally draining it can become. The acts performed
daily by informal caregivers demonstrate solidarity and compassion. We must
recognize their dedication and essential role. We must also support them,"
stated the Minister.
    The Minister pointed out that the idea of setting up a fund to support
informal caregivers was raised during the consultation on the living
conditions of seniors. To enable the Minister responsible for Seniors to
follow through on this idea, the 2008-2009 Budget provides for:

    - the creation, in partnership with the Chagnon family, of a $200-million
      fund over 10 years to improve and develop services for informal

    This special fund will support informal caregivers in several ways. Among
other things, it will increase the supply of respite services, break the cycle
of isolation and solitude, develop emergency services and offer training
tailored to the needs of loved ones.

    Retirement income

    In addition, after introducing retirement income splitting between spouses
last year and increasing the maximum amount of the tax credit for retirement
income from $1 000 to $1 500, the government is announcing:

    - that the maximum amount is being raised to $2 000 over two years. As a
      result, nearly 400 000 taxpayers will have a higher disposable income.

    "The measures I am announcing today will improve the quality of life of
our seniors. There is a consensus in Québec on the need to better meet their
needs. With this budget, we are giving ourselves the means to provide them
with better support," concluded the Minister.
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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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