The B.C. government has announced tax breaks for families with children under 18-years-old. (File Photo)

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

The B.C. government is creating tax breaks for families with children under 18, combining the previously established Early Childhood Benefit into a single new initiative: the BC Child Opportunity Benefit.

Coming into effect in October, 2020, the new benefit raises eligibility significantly. A family with one child is eligible for $1,600 per year, two children up to $2,600 per year and three children up to $3,400 a year – a jump from the existing benefit’s maximums of $660, $1,320 and $1,980 respectively.

The benefit is reduced by four per cent of each family’s net income over $25,000 and phased out at a four per cent rate of each family’s net income over $80,000.

James said the benefit takes a year to implement while the province works out details with the Canadian Revenue Agency.

The refundable tax credit will provide $380 million annually to B.C. families, and has no impact on eligibility for child care benefits.

RELATED: New spaces a step to universal child care

Viveca Ellis of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition said the benefit is a powerful tool to combat child poverty, but says the threshold – $25,000 – is too low to start reducing the benefit.

“We are disappointed to see the threshold for clawing back at $25,000. Leaving the threshold very low…means that single mother families and other families that are in poverty are going to see their BC Opportunity Benefit clawed back while they are still below the poverty line.”

“We would like to see that threshold raised right up to $40,000.”

No new funding was announced for child care programs in B.C. but funding continues to carry over from the 2018 budget –including a fee reduction for parents of children in licensed care up to $4,200 a year and an Affordable Child Care Benefit eligible to families households earning under $111,000.

“We added $300 million to support child care programs,” said finance minister Carole James. “Affordability is there for families and we expect that to grow and certainly hope that to grow…we’re also building child care spaces and supporting bursaries for early childhood educators.”

RELATED: Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Timberwolves seek fresh lacrosse recruits

New season of the ‘fastest game on two feet’ begins this spring

Missing the Bus: Transit planners trying to fix overcrowding

Part two in a series looking at transit issues in the west Kootenay.

UPDATED: Nakusp to use New Denver playbook to attract doctors to town

Clarification on doctor’s shortage from local clinic manager

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read