Authentic poverty relief or good politics?

Canadian renters to get $500 cash gift from government

If you are struggling with paying your rent and your family net annual income is below $35,000, you will be entitled to a $500 rental relief gift from the Government of Canada.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the government’s first pieces of legislation introduced in the upcoming Parliamentary sitting would make life more affordable for Canadians who need it most.

The measures in these bills include the following:

  1. Double the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC)

Trudeau said this will deliver support to roughly 11 million individuals and families who receive the tax credit, including about half of Canadian families with children, and more than half of Canadian seniors.

Single Canadians without children would receive up to an extra $234 and couples with two children would receive up to an extra $467 in their pockets this year. Seniors would receive an extra $225 on average.

  1. Dental benefit to children

The government will aldo provide a Canada Dental Benefit to children under 12 who do not have access to dental insurance, starting this year.

Direct payments totalling up to $1,300 per child over the next two years (up to $650 per year) would be provided for dental care services. This is the first stage of the government’s plan to deliver dental coverage for families with income under $90,000, and will allow children under 12 to get the dental care they need.

  1. $500 rent relief to 1.8 million Canadians

Government will provide a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to deliver $500 to 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.

This more than doubles our Budget 2022 commitment, reaching twice as many Canadians as initially promised. This new one-time federal benefit will be in addition to the Canada Housing Benefit currently co-funded and delivered by provinces and territories.

The federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for individuals, who pay at least 30 per cent of their income on rent.

Prime Minister Trudeau said that “these measures build on the strong action we have been taking since 2015 to make life more affordable and build an economy that works for all Canadians.

How far will these go for immigrants?

Canadian renters to get $500 cash gift from government

For low income immigrant families struggling with high prices and skyrocketing rents, the latest measures will bring some temporary relief, but how far it will go remains another question.

The top 5 needs of new immigrants to Canada are:

  • Getting jobs that match their qualifications
  • Finding affordable rental accommodation
  • Raising the down payment to buy a house
  • Adjusting to the Canadian culture
  • Meeting up with the high cost of living

The newly announced government relief package will still leave many immigrants with unanswered questions.

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