Last budget before the election

News 26 March, 2018
    Finance minister Carlos Leitao and the prime minister Philippe Couillard during the tabling of the budget 2017-2018 at the Salon bleu of the national Assembly, on 28 march 2017.

    Marc-André Gagnon

    Monday, 26 march, 2018 00:00

    Monday, 26 march, 2018 00:00

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    No new tax cut, but more time for families : the minister of Finance, Carlos Leitao, will file tomorrow its fifth and last budget before the elections. In addition to addressing the repayment of the debt by drawing$ 2 billion per year in the generations Fund, the government Couillard will make a final attempt to make you forget the austerity budget, based on the margins found and an economy that is doing well. Here’s what we know.

    $ 1 billion for spoiling the family

    Carlos Leitao has distributed the gifts before Christmas by decreasing the tax rate to one percent, there will be no new tax cut. As announced in November, individuals will have the right, in 2017 and 2018, a tax reduction of a maximum of 278 M$.

    On the other hand, Carlos Leitao should include in its budget of expenditures totalling$ 1 billion for families. It remains to be seen how they will, set apart holidays and measures for carers announced last week with the reforms to the Law on labour standards and the quebec parental insurance Plan.

    “Special attention” to SMES

    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES), which fear that the cost of these two reforms without anything in return, will be entitled to ” special attention “, explained a well-informed source.

    Companies, who had been disappointed by the economic update last fall, in addition to having to prepare for the increase in the minimum wage to $ 12, 1 may next year, is expected to benefit in the short term different tax measures.

    The government Couillard should also take one more step in the fight against the shortage of workforce, particularly in promoting better integration of workers of immigrant origin and in encouraging older people to work longer.

    Three axes

    The budget 2018-2019 will also invest in improving services in health, education and transport.

    The health budget should be increased by 4.5 %, or nearly$ 1.7 billion, to reach$ 38 billion. A small part of the pactolus should enable nurses to blow, finally a little.

    In education, we should maintain the pace of investment announced in the previous budget, and a focus on the digital.

    In transport, we can expect it to be about the commitments already announced in the transit system in Quebec city and Lévis, the 3rd link between the two shores and the extension of the blue line in Montreal.

    Debt reduction

    As announced by Philippe Couillard and Carlos Leitao two weeks prior to the filing of the budget – because the balanced budget Legislation allows to do, Quebec will confirm an imposing plan of debt repayment. A colossal sum of$ 10 billion over five years, taken from the generations Fund, will be presented, which should allow to save a billion in interest, but only$ 64 Million in 2018-2019. For the fourth consecutive time, the budget will be balanced. All the surplus will be spent.