#Quebec'sEconomySurplus; #HelpingQuebceFamilies; #EnhancedFamilyAllowance
Quebec, Nov 7 (Canadian-Media): With a flourishing economy, the Coalition Avenir Québec government is trying to help the families on its promise by eliminating the sliding-scale system for daycare fees and boosting the child allowance earlier than expected, media reports said.
Eric Girard. Image credit: Facebook page
Finance Minister Eric Girard announced that out of $857 million in new expenditures for the current fiscal year, $525 million would be for expenditure and $332 million of which will go back into the pockets of Quebecers.
"The economy is performing remarkably well, and this increases our revenues, allows us to give money back to Quebecers and still have responsible fiscal management," Girard said at a news conference Thursday.
Among the highlights are: Full implementation of enhanced family allowance in January 2020 and families will receive an additional $779 on average; The CAQ's promised return to a single-fee system for public daycare will be retroactive to the beginning of 2019 will allow an average savings of $1,100 for 140,000 families. The money back varies on the income of the parents; Starting in the spring of 2020, hospital parking fees will be capped at around $7 to $10 depending on the region, and the first two hours will be free. Earlier fees in some places were more than $20; and Families of children with disabilities who require special care will receive an additional $652 per month.
Girard said the province was driven by an increase of 2.4 percent in GDP in 2019, the 2019-2020 fiscal year would be having a surplus of $1.4-billion after transferring more than $2.5 billion in surplus cash into the Generations Fund to pay the province's gross debt.
Carlos Leitão, a former finance minister and now critic for the Opposition Liberals, said the economic update was a boon for some, but left others behind and shows concerns for those who don't have kids and the elderly.
He also noted the government's plans for tying Hydro-Québec rates to the yearly inflation figure would imply higher electricity bills.
Meanwhile Quebec's labour federation (FTQ) said more money should have been put toward public services and said,
"We hoped better from this government who, in opposition, was constantly attacking the Liberals and their obsession with austerity," said FTQ president Daniel Boyer.