From Parliament Hill: Canadian government focused on helping families make ends meet

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David Wilks is the member of Parliament for the Kootenay-Columbia federal riding.

David Wilks is the member of Parliament for the Kootenay-Columbia federal riding.

Our government is focused on helping hard working Canadian families make ends meet, by making important priorities like child care and afterschool sports more affordable.

Under this plan, every family with children will have more money in their pockets to spend on their priorities as a family. Our government is fulfilling its promise to balance the federal budget. We are now in a position to fulfill our promise to help Canadian families balance theirs. All families with children will benefit from the new measures introduced by our government. The average tax relief and benefits for these families will be $1,140 in 2015.

The proposed new measures include:

•the Family Tax Cut, a federal tax credit that will allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket. The credit will provide tax relief — capped at $2,000 — for couples with children under the age of 18, effective for the 2014 tax year. Income splitting is helping seniors across the country, which is why the government is now proposing similar relief for families;

•increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for children under age six. As of Jan. 1, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of six — up from $100 per month. In a year, parents will receive up to $1,920 per child;

•expanding the UCCB to children aged six through 17. As of Jan. 1, under the expanded UCCB, parents will receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged six through 17. In a year, parents will receive up to $720 per child;

•increasing the child care expense deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit; and

•our government’s intention to double the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and make it refundable. The maximum amount of expenses that may be claimed under the credit will be doubled from its current limit to $1,000 for the 2014 tax year and subsequent tax years, and the credit will be made refundable effective for the 2015 and subsequent tax years.

Please go to www.david-wilks.ca for an audio clip about putting families first.

David Wilks is the member of Parliament for the Kootenay-Columbia riding.