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Top Ten 2015 Federal Budget Highlights

Posted 7 years ago on · Permalink

On April 21st, Finance Minister Joe Oliver presented his 2015 budget. Here are the top ten items that could have an economic impact on Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade members and Durham Region in general.

1)    Investment in Public Transit – $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, plus $1 billion a year thereafter, for a fund to promote investment in public transit systems.

2)    Investment in Infrastructure – $5.8 billion in funds for new infrastructure, with the majority spent over the next three years, on top of the existing $5.3 billion per year from the Building Canada Plan.

3)    Small Business Tax Reduction – The small business tax rate drops from 11 per cent to 9 per cent by 2019. (0.5% reduction each year starting Jan 1, 2016)

4)    Reduction of Payroll Taxes/EI Premiums – The EI premium rate freeze (currently $1.88 per $100 of earnings through 2016 was reconfirmed. More importantly, the reduction to the seven-year break-even rate in 2017. The government estimates this is somewhere around $1.49, a reduction of 21%.

5)    Support for Agriculture Sector – A $1-million lifetime capital gains exemption for farm and fishing businesses.

6)    Support for Manufacturing Sector  – Manufacturers incentivised to invest in new equipment. Manufacturers will benefit from the accelerated capital cost allowance to 2025. The same 50% rate will be applied using the declining balance method. Previously, the straight-line method was used so that the full depreciation was taken in two years. Also, a 10-year tax incentive measure to write-off investment in tools and equipment will benefit the manufacturing sector.

7)    Access to Capital -The government announced changes to the Canada Small Business Financing Program that will expand availability: the maximum loan amount will rise to $1M from $500K, and the small business criteria will qualify a company with 10M in revenues, up from $5M.

8)    Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship – $14 million to Futurpreneur to support young entrepreneurs with start-up capital, learning tools and mentorship.

9)    Skills Development – The government pledged to invest $65 million for business and industry trade associations to work with post-secondary institutions to align curricula with the needs of employers.
•    $35 million to the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program, which pays for immigrants to take courses and tests to have foreign qualifications recognized in Canada.
•    The federal government is negotiating with provinces on the $2 billion labour market development agreements to reorient training to labour market demand. The government will support provinces in harmonizing apprenticeship training and certification requirements in Red Seal Trades, along with $7 million for improved labour mobility.

10)     Improved access to labour market information – $4 million over two years to launch a new one-stop national labour market information portal. This is the consolidation of existing information but is a good step toward more investments in new surveys and data that are more robust.

For more details, read the full budget document here and check out the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Budget Analysis here.