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Trudeau Says 2023 Budget Will Include Affordability Measures

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the 2023 federal budget will include new affordability measures aimed at helping Canadians navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crunch. During a media availability, he noted the “huge pressures” Canadians are facing when it comes to affordability and said the upcoming budget will outline how the federal Liberals will “move forward in a way that’s going to be responsive to the challenges that Canadians are facing.” Trudeau also said that the budget will include the recently-finalized multibillion-dollar healthcare funding deals inked with the provinces and territories, as well as measures that will continue to create jobs for Canadians across the country.

While the Liberals plan to roll out new spending, they will also be mindful of the risks of a recession and their pre-stated desire not to fan the flames of inflation. Trudeau suggested that the Liberal approach of “targeted” supports is likely to continue and expressed optimism that the “inflation crisis” will be “getting better” by this summer. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has signalled that her coming update on the state of the Canadian economy will be focused on clean energy, making life more affordable, and job growth, while remaining fiscally prudent.

The minority Liberals will also be factoring in political considerations in the crafting of the budget. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is putting pressure on the Liberals to satisfy the outstanding commitments coming due as part of the Liberal-NDP supply-and-confidence agreement, while Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is making direct calls for the federal government to lower taxes, ending “inflationary” spending, match new spending with savings, and improve housing affordability.

Trudeau wouldn’t commit to anything when asked whether the coming affordability measures would include an expansion to the GST rebate, but he pointed to previous affordability-focused measures the Liberals have introduced in recent years, including $10-a-day daycare, a housing benefit top-up, and the first plank of a national dental-care program.

The 2023 federal budget also includes,a ‘grocery rebate’ which was announced today (March 27) that will be offered to Canadians with lower incomes who may be struggling with the rising cost of food. According to sources, the new measure will help nearly 11 million lower-income Canadians. A couple with two children could get a one-time payment of up to $467. A senior would get a one-time payment of $225, while a single person would get a payment of $234 dollars. The benefit will be part of a GST credit once the budget implementation bill passes in the House of Commons.

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