Winners and losers from latest federal budget
Following is a list of the major winners and losers from the measures announced in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget announced today:
Extension of the Building Canada program, worth $47 billion in new spending over 10 years, will keep contractors and engineers involved in infrastructure projects across the country busy. The work will include bridges, highways, airports, Canada's weather service and VIA Rail.
A combination of continued tax breaks and new spending should please the manufacturing sector. One-point-four-billion dollars in tax relief through 2018 will be given to businesses buying new equipment, close to $1 billion will flow to southern Ontario and its hard-hit auto sector, and the aerospace industry will benefit from almost $1 billion in spending over the next five years.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being allocated to Canada's First Nations over the next few years. The bulk is targeted at income assistance, with additional spending for housing in Nunavut, resolving land claims, and health care. The government will also spend $155 million over the next 10 years on infrastructure within First Nations communities.
UNEMPLOYED & UNDEREMPLOYED
The $500 million-per-year Canada Job Grant will reallocate funding to match employee skills with employer needs and will focus on training. There are also programs to enhance apprenticeships and reach minority groups. Many of the programs, including the Canada Job Grant, are subject to negotiation with the provinces.
PARENTS AND SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS
The government is ending import tariffs on baby clothes and a wide range of sports gear, following hearings into the price disparity between the same goods in Canada and the United States.
The tariffs range from 2.5 to 20 per cent. In addition to infant clothing, they will be lifted on everything from skates, snow boards, hockey sticks and skis to golf clubs. The cuts should make the goods more affordable - if they're passed along to consumers.
On top of closing some tax loopholes, the government is further clamping down on tax evaders. Initiatives include offering rewards to informers who report international tax evasion and tightening reporting rules for banks and people.
There's really nothing in this budget to make public servants happy. From modifying pension and severance policy to reducing travel costs, direct program expenses are projected to drop by $4 billion in fiscal 2013 and $2.5 billion next year and are unlikely to keep pace with inflation and cost of living in subsequent years.
Canada's public sector is also getting smaller.
Those hoping the Harper government would boost its green profile are apt to be disappointed. While tax break eligibility for clean energy generation is widened, conservation programs totalling double-digit millions of dollars are unlikely to pacify the environmental lobby.
TO HEAR THE BUDGET PODCAST, CLICK HERE. Included are interviews with experts Bruce Ball and Vivian Leung as well as local MP's Malcom Allen and Rick Dystra.