Federal budget 2016: what to expect

(Courtesy of the Liberal Party of Canada)

(Courtesy of the Liberal Party of Canada)

By Sidney O’Reilly

Canada’s first federal budget under the Trudeau government will be unveiled later today.

The much-anticipated budget is set to address five main topics. These include the Canada Child Benefit – a promise to aid families earning under $200,000 per year, the deficit, which is expected to nearly double the government’s projected numbers, middle-class tax cuts and infrastructure and youth-related concerns.

“I expect that there will be a focus on spending that will create employment (in the budget),” said Neil Thomlinson, associate professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson. “I think it’s an open question whether youth employment will receive special attention.”

For the millennial generation, many are wondering if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver on his youth-related campaign promises. Having spent a good deal of the election appealing to young voters, the Liberal Party has set its standards high with regards to youth employment and post-secondary fees.

According to a poll conducted by Forum Research for the Toronto Star, Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most wary of the new budget and most “pessimistic” about the economy when it comes to their financial security.

At a campaign event in October 2015, Trudeau announced the Liberal Party’s plan to increase the Canada Student Grant for low-income students by 50 per cent as well as to become more flexible when it comes to paying off student loans post-graduation.

“We’ll ensure no graduate with student loans has to make any repayment until they’re earning at least $25,000 a year,” Trudeau said.

The Liberal government also made a pledge to create 40,000 youth jobs each year for the next three years by investing $300 million into their youth employment strategy. The strategy includes funding to help employers create more co-op placements for students in math and science programs.

When it comes to infrastructure, it appears that there won’t be any ribbon cutting for commuter students any time soon.

“The first two years we’re going to do the unsexy things that governments hate to announce,” Trudeau said earlier this week while in New York. “Maintenance, upgrades, restoring signals on subways and things that are really necessary to keep the pace up in terms of transit and are desperately needed.” 

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