On Wednesday, the federal government released its budget for 2023.
The budget includes spending on alleviating delays at airports, expanding dental care and a tax rebate to help with grocery affordability.
The grocery rebate would allow low-income Canadians to get up to $467 back, for a family of four.
“The way that we’re going to assist those Canadians that need it the most, is by using the GST rebate that they already get,” says Mark Gerretsen, Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands.
“It will be a compliment to the GST rebate that is intended for the use of helping to combat inflationary impacts around groceries.”
The local Conservatives are critical of the budget, saying the federal government is spending too much.
“The big issues we’re finding with this, is a lot of new spending,” says Ryan Williams, Conservative MP for Bay of Quinte.
“At the end of the day, we know that spending is causing an inflationary crisis. This is a time for fiscal restraint. There’s no fiscal restraint in this budget.”
The Conservatives are saying this budget actually does more harm for the average Canadian than good, leading to more taxes for the middle class.
“The tax that this government is talking about for the wealthiest Canadians is only going to bring in $600 million a year,” says Williams. “$600 million out of $20 billion is not taxing the 1 per cent, it’s taxing the middle class.”
But Gerretsen believes that this budget is actually a “scaled back” budget.
He says since there was a lot of spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 budget is more restrained than previous years.
“This is a budget that is not overly prescribed in terms of giving out, as much as previous budgets,” says Gerretsen.
“We have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio amongst the G7 countries, and we have the fastest-growing economy, as measured by real GDP, throughout the G7 countries.”
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