Friday, March 30, 2012

Highlights of the 2012 Federal Budget

The budget will:
• Gradually raise the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 beginning in 2023.
• Give people the option to voluntarily defer taking your OAS pension, for up to five years, and receive a higher, actuarially adjusted, annual pension as a result.
• Adjust the RDSP to make it easier to open accounts for mentally challenged individuals; permit parents, who save in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for a child with a severe disability, to transfer investment income earned in an RESP on a tax-free (or “rollover”) basis to a RDSP, provided the plans share a common beneficiary;and to relax the rule to provide greater access to RDSP savings for small withdrawals
• Contain no new taxes or tax increases.
• Eliminate the penny.
• Reform regulation in the resource industry, including amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
• Allow Canadians to claim more goods duty-free at the border. The limit after 24 hours goes from $50 to $200; for 48 hours it goes up to $800.
• Cap EI premium rate increases to 5 cents a year until the fund is balanced again.
• Eliminate 19,200 government jobs over three years, including 600 senior executives and 7,200 through attrition.
• Cut $2.1 billion from the Department of National Defence over the next three years.
• Cut funding to the CBC by 10 per cent over three years totaling $115 million.
• Cut funding to Elections Canada by $7.5 million a year starting in 2012-13.
• Give $5.2 billion over 11 years to the Canadian Coast Guard.
• Provide $450 million for sports facilities in the Greater Toronto Area for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.
• Tell consumers to complain directly to food companies about product labelling.
• Give $67 million to the National Research Council to refocus on "business-led, industry-relevant research."
• Streamline overall regulatory reviews of major economic projects.
• Provide $275 million to build and renovate schools on reserves.
• Pass legislation to create standards for First Nations education.
• Refund $130 million in application and processing fees to skilled foreign workers stuck in immigration limbo.
• Raise the retirement age of public servants from 60 to 65, for new employees beginning in 2013.
• Increase employee-contribution levels to pension plans for those working in Canadian Forces, RCMP, Public Service Commission and parliamentarians.
• Make the Governor General pay income tax beginning in 2013.
• Shut down the Public Appointments Commission, Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
• Sell official residences abroad, generating $80 million in revenue.
• Standardize all government emails to one system.
• $205 million over one year for Hiring Credit for Small Business.
• Give $50 million over two years to Youth Employment Strategy.
• Give $150 million over two years on Community Infrastructure Improvement fund
• Give $105 million next year to Via Rail for operational and capital projects.
• Give $101 million over next five years for Esquimalt Graving Dock.
• Give $50 million over two years to protect wildlife at risk.
• Give $8 million to clean up low-level radioactive waste in Port Hope and Clarington, Ont.
• Provide $44 million over two years to the Canadian Grain Commission to reform their funding model.
• Provide $13.5 million over two years to improve pipeline safety.
• Give $35.7 million over two years to improve tanker safety and inspections, emergency preparedness related to oil spills and updated charts for shipping routes.
• Announce a new global commerce strategy in 2013 that sets trade priorities.
• Provide $9.6 million over three years to the RCMP to fight counterfeiting.
• Give $ 99.2 million over three years to help the provinces create permanent flood mitigation measures.
• The Government has found $5.2 billion in ongoing savings from departmental spending or less than two per cent of federal program spending.

If you would like additional information, feel free to email.

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