Some win, some lose in latest federal budget


OTTAWA – As with all federal budgets, there are winners and losers in the latest document. Here’s a look at who gets goodies and who doesn’t.

Win: Seniors get lower minimum withdrawal limits for their registered retirement income funds and a new tax credit for home improvements to improve accessibility.

Lose: The federal public service, which is in contract negotiations, got notice that the government intends to save $900 million by revamping sick-leave policies, one way or another.

Win: Commuters caught in big-city gridlock will get major infrastructure dollars to help to start easing that congestion.

Lose: The military gets more money, but the extra cash doesn’t begin to flow for two years.

Win: In addition to previously announced new child-care benefits and income splitting for couples with children, families will also get increased benefits to care for gravely ill family members.

Lose: Tax dodgers will be up against a beefed-up tax-compliance program at the Canada Revenue Agency, which gets $58.2 million over five years to chase them down.

Win: Small businesses will see their tax rate drop in stages to nine per cent in 2019 from 11 per cent today.

Lose: Foreign aid gets no increase, despite a recent OECD report showing Canada’s aid spending is stagnant compared with that of other developed countries.

Win: Farming and fishing families will see their lifetime capital gains exemption rise to $1 million from $813,600 today.

Lose: Climate change doesn’t even merit a mention in the budget section entitled “Protecting Canada’s Environment.” The document promises money for species at risk and conservation programs, but nothing new on greenhouse gas emissions.

Win: The RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canada Border Services Agency get $292.6 million over five years to fight terrorism and enforce the government’s new anti-terror law.

Lose: Adults who were looking for a fitness tax credit, promised by the Conservatives in 2011, will have to settle for a study of the issue by an expert panel.

Win: Manufacturers, who get a tax break on machinery and equipment.

Lose: The oil and gas industry, once the government’s favourite economic driver, gets no mention at all, besides some small tax breaks for the liquefied natural gas industry.