CANADA – The cost of living in Canada has risen to insane levels over the past year, especially when it comes to food prices and rent. To combat this issue the federal government is introducing a new $4.5 billion support package to provide some relief.
What is included in the new relief package?
The measures in this package include a doubling of the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) for six months. This means that single Canadians without children would receive up to $234 extra and couples with two children would receive up to $467 extra in their pockets this year. Seniors would receive an extra $225 on average.
This change would be wide-reaching, providing additional support to approximately 11 million individuals and families who receive the GSTC. This includes the majority of Canadian families with kids and more than half of senior citizens.
The package will also give a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to deliver $500 to 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing. The federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families or below $20,000 for individuals, who pay at least 30% of their income on rent.
Dental Package Plans Announced
The package will also provide a Canada Dental Benefit to children under 12 who do not have access to dental insurance and who have an income of less than $90,000 a year, starting this year. This will give direct payments totalling up to $1,300 over two years. Parents have to apply for the payments.
The feds call the new dental program “underdeveloped” and say that they are looking to extend dental coverage to people under 18, seniors and people living with a disability in 2023. The full implementation is planned for all families bringing in less than $90,000 by 2025.
“Canadians are feeling the rising cost of living, particularly through higher food prices and rent. While inflation is a global challenge – caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine – we are helping families weather its impacts by working to put more money back in the pockets of the middle class and those working hard to join it this year,” reads a release from the feds.
“From helping families pay rent to making sure people can afford the dental care they need and putting hundreds of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians, this suite of new measures will support families who need it the most, when they need it the most. As we head into a new Parliamentary sitting, we are working hard to continue delivering results for the middle class and those working hard to join it,” reads a release from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canadians Feel this “Relief” isn’t Enough
While the announcement was long-awaited after being delayed by the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, many feel that the “relief” fell a little flat.
“It is absolutely not enough, we are not under 90K and we are moving to a 2-bedroom apartment with two children, a tiny little thing, for 3k a month (what I used to pay 30 days ago for a fully detached bungalow corner lot in the same area with 4 bedrooms 2 bathroom fully finished basement and backyard) I feel desperate, if I am in this position how are the people who have less than us doing? My heart brakes. To some this could feel like much, to many, is an insult,” said one woman.
“Middle class single parents get no rent benefit if they make over 35k. Giving free money makes everything worse. Why not actually cap the amount of rent people pay? It’s nearly impossible to move let alone paying higher rent and risk the chance of your landlord increasing amounts to unknown,” someone else wrote.
While others feel that there are better solutions to supporting Canadians through this crisis than the relief package, and the government should go back to the drawing board.
“I would rather them regulate rent, Hydro, and gas for each dwelling… So we pay less and possibility owners,” someone on Instagram suggested.
“What is $200-$500 a year going to do for anyone? Buy them a week work of groceries maybe. For one person, not a family,” another user pointed out.
While others still are urging the Prime Minister to dig deeper to solve these issues with the legislation, not packages.
“Instead of these performances announcements, he needs to be a real leader and get provinces- like Ontario- to do the right thing and change legislation!!! Stop throwing money and start having the hard conversations with Premiers like Doug!!!!!!” wrote one viewer on The Brandon Gonez Show Instagram.