The federal government has announced a boost in the Canada Child Tax Benefit for middle-class families.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos announced the increase — which will come into effect July 20 — on Monday in Barrie.
“A family of two children earning about $55,000 per year will get an additional $30 per month in their pockets starting in July 2019, that’s in addition to the $550 a month they already receive because of the CCB,” said Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
"The cost of raising children keeps increasing. If we want our children, our beautiful children to have a fair chance in life, to have the best possible start in life, then their parents need to have the support that they need, and that they deserve," Duclos said at his second announcement about the increase in Richmond Hill.
As CTV News first reported on Sunday, the increase is being made to keep up with the rising cost of living. The new maximum yearly benefit will be $6,639 per child under the age of 6, and $5,602 per child aged 6 through 17. That means that families will be receiving between $12 and $30 more a month than they receive under the current system.
This move, while being unveiled now, was planned for in the 2018 federal budget.
Parents will be able to benefit from the increase three months before the 2019 federal election.
“I think there is something to be said about the timing of it,” says Rebecca Major, a political science professor at the University of Windsor.
But Major says time will tell if it will help the Liberals, who are sagging in recent polls due to the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the removal of two former cabinet ministers from caucus.
“I think it’s an attempt to reach out to certain voting segments,” says Major. “I think it might play a part in it, but I don't think it’s going to be enough with everything else that’s happening politically.”
The current CCB program began in 2016, providing families with a tax-free monthly payment to help with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. The change marks the second occasion the government has raised the child benefit since it launched. The last increase happened in July 2018 – two years ahead of the scheduled increase.
The payments vary from family to family, and are based on income, as well as the number of children.
Increasing payments will cost the government more than $24.3 billion. Nearly 3.7 million families receive the benefit, which the Liberals say have brought 278,000 children out of poverty as of 2017.