Bill C-31, the Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2 (Targeted Support for Households), received Royal Assent. This legislation delivers two targeted affordability measures for the Canadians who need it most: the Canada Dental Benefit and a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
The Canada Dental Benefit will provide eligible parents or guardians with up to $650 tax-free per year for two years to cover dental expenses for children under 12. This benefit, which will support an estimated 500,000 children, is available to families without access to private dental insurance and with an adjusted family net income under $90,000. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will begin receiving applications and processing payments for the benefit starting December 1, 2022.
The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit will provide a tax-free payment of $500 to an estimated 1.8 million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing. This top-up is available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for single Canadians, who pay at least 30 per cent of their adjusted net income towards rent. The CRA will begin receiving applications and processing payments for this top-up starting December 12, 2022.
In addition to Bill C-31, the government is already delivering targeted and fiscally responsible measures to support Canadians, with particular emphasis on addressing the needs of low-income Canadians who are most exposed to inflation.
- The measures in Bill C-31 and the recently adopted Bill C-30 represent a total of more than $4.5 billion in targeted support for the Canadians who need it most.
- The Canada Dental Benefit will benefit an estimated 500,000 children.
- The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit will benefit an estimated 1.8 million low-income renters.
- These new measures are in addition to other measures that will support Canadians this year, including:
- Doubling the GST Credit for six months to deliver $2.5 billion in additional targeted support to roughly 11 million individuals and families. Most eligible Canadians received their additional payment starting November 4.
- Enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit at a cost of $1.7 billion in new support for an estimated three million low-income workers this year, with a couple receiving up to $2,400 more this year, and single workers receiving up to $1,200 more. Most recipients first received this additional support through their 2021 tax return.
- Cutting regulated child care fees in half, on average, for Canadian families by the end of this year.
- Increasing by 10 per cent the Old Age Security (OAS) pension for seniors 75 years and older, which will provide more than $800 in new support to full pensioners over the first year, and increase benefits for more than three million seniors.
- Providing more support for students by doubling the Canada Student Grant amount until July 2023 and by waiving interest on Canada Student Loans through to March 2023.
- Indexing important benefits to inflation, including the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
- On November 3, the government released the 2022 Fall Economic Statement which proposed further measures to enhance Canada’s social safety net and make life more affordable, including:
- Permanently eliminating interest on federal student and apprentice loans.
- Creating a new, quarterly Canada Workers Benefit with automatic advance payments for our lowest-paid workers.
- Delivering on key pillars of the government’s plan to make housing more affordable, including the creation of a new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, a doubling of the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, and ensuring that property flippers pay their fair share.
- Lowering credit card transaction fees for small business.