It’s traditional for finance ministers in Canada to buy new shoes on the day before they announce the annual budget. BC Fiinance Minister Mike de Jong took a new spin on this tradition and wore ice skates for the budget speech today.
Some of the highlights from today’s budget include:
1. The New BC Training and Education Savings Grant
For those born in 2007 or later and have an RESP account, their families may apply for a one-time grant of $1,200 before he or she turns seven. The family is not required to match or provide additiona contributions to earn the grant amount.
2. Earning more than $150,000?
Beginning in January 2014 the income tax rate on earnings in excess of $150,000 will be increased to 16.8% – an increase of 2.1%.
3. BC Child Tax Benefit
Beginning in April 2015 (yes, 2015) this new benefit program will come into effect. Eligible families will earn $660 per year for children under the age of six. As this is a refundable provincial tax credit, families may receive a refund of up to $660 upon filing their personal tax returns.
4. MSP Premiums
Medical Service Premiums will be increased by 4% on January 1, 2014.
5. Corporate Tax Rate Increase
The “non”-small business tax rate will increase by 1% to 11% on April 1, 2013. Last year’s budget announced that a 1% increase would occur in 2014 if warrented by the economic situation.
This budget will not be debated or voted upon until after the May 14, 2013 provincial election.