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It's Your Money  

Monetary reasons to vote

Election Day is upon us. By now, many of you have already voted or at least made up your minds on who to vote for.

But for those who are still unsure, I wanted to take a few minutes to provide you with some additional clarity on how each party’s victory might affect your wallet.

Your vote will likely be influenced by multiple issues, including social programs, the economy and the environment, but don’t forget to think about the financial impacts that each party’s platform will have on your own family’s bottom line.

While the “other” parties have all come out with a variety of financial promises, I’ve chosen to limit this breakdown to the three main parties and their plans for the following areas:

Housing:

The Liberals have proposed a federal vacant property tax on top of the one we already have here in B.C. They have also promised $15 million in funding for homeless veterans as well as possible spending on housing and infrastructure for Indigenous communities.

The NDP has proposed to building 500,000 housing units over the next decade to increase affordable rental options and committed to starting this program with a $5 billion injection in the first 18 months.

The Conservatives have proposed increasing the maximum amortization for first time homebuyers to 30 years and ease the mortgage stress test in order to make home-buying more accessible.

They also committed to using surplus federal real estate for affordable housing developments.  In addition, they would introduce a $20,000 federal tax credit for energy-saving renovations.

Income Tax:

The NDP have proposed a “super wealth tax” for Canadians whose wealth is $20 million or more. Each year, these taxpayers would owe an additional one per cent of the total value of their assets on top of all of the other taxes that they pay. They have also committed to increasing the capital gains inclusion rate from 50-75%.

The top federal tax rate would be increased by two per cent as well. Some of these additional taxes would be used to fund their universal pharmacare plan.

The Conservatives have proposed decreasing the federal tax rate on income under $47,630 by 1.25% and they would introduce or bring back a number of tax credits including the green public transit tax credit, the children’s fitness tax credit and the children’s arts and learning tax credit. They would also roll back some of the small business tax increases introduced by the Liberals.

The Liberals have proposed an increase in the basic (tax free) income amount from the current $12,069 up to $15,000. They have also pledged additional increases to incorporated business owners including small and medium sized businesses.

Retirees:

The Conservatives have proposed an increase to the Age Tax Credit by $1,000 for any senior earning less than $87,750 per year.

The Liberals have proposed to increase Old Age Security benefits by 10% (an increase of up to $61 per month) once seniors turn 75 and to also boost the CPP survivor benefit for spouses.

The NDP has proposed making the federal Caregiver Tax Credit refundable to all taxpayers instead of just those with tax payable like it is now.

Children:

The Liberals have proposed making maternity and parental benefits tax-free and would increase the Canada Child Benefit by 15% for parents of children in their first year only. They have also promised a 10% decrease in before and after school care costs by creating more childcare spaces.

They would also make student loans interest-free for two years after a student graduates and payments would not begin until their income exceeds $35,000 per year.

The NDP has proposed a $1-billion increase in funding to create affordable childcare. They are also suggesting free post-secondary education for all in the future but have not yet confirmed how this would be paid for. In the shorter term, they hope to make student loans interest free for life.

The Conservatives would also make maternity and parental benefits tax-free. They would provide additional support to parents saving for a child’s education by increasing the Canada Education Savings Grant program by 50 per cent up to $250 per year. They would also provide 15 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents.

Their proposed universal tax cut would save the average family over $850, which could be used for childcare expenses if required or other expenses if it’s not.

Each party’s platform carries far more details and promises than what is summarized above and I’d urge you to do your research on all of these details to help make your decision. You should also consider who will actually live up to their proposed plans and who might abandon them once elected.

Generations before us laid down their lives to ensure your freedom and ability to vote. You owe it to them and the generations to come to do your research and then get out and vote.

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About the Author

Brett, designated as a chartered investment manager and certified financial planner, is the regional director (Okanagan) for IG Wealth Management.

In addition to his “day job," Brett was appointed to the board of directors of FP Canada (formerly FPSC) in 2014, named as the board’s vice-chair in 2017 and took over as board chairman in 2019. 

Brett has been writing a weekly financial planning column since 2012 and provides his readers with easy to understand explanations of the complex financial challenges that they face in every stage of life.

Enhancing the financial literacy of Canadian consumers is a top priority of Brett’s and his ongoing efforts as a finance writer and on the regulatory side through the FP Canada board focus on this initiative.   

Please let Brett know if you have any topics that you’d like him to cover in future columns by emailing him at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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