The budget in brief - for families

par Kate McCaffery | April 22 2015 01:01PM

Today's announcement - Finance Minister, Joe Oliver's first federal budget tabled in the House of Commons, repeats many promises already rolled out by the government in late 2014.

budget_2 In addition to the TFSA increases, new provisions include support for would-be post-secondary students from lower and middle-income families.

Although the budget does not provide additional funding for grants, eligibility for low and middle-income Canada Student Grants will be expanded to allow those interested in shorter-duration programs to apply.

"This measure will help ensure that more students can pursue short duration post-secondary programs that focus on practical skills and provide a quick transition from education to employment."

Beginning in 2016, the grants will be made available to low and middle-income students enrolled in educational programs of at least 34 weeks. (Currently, students must be enrolled in programs of at least 60 weeks to qualify.) The expansion will reportedly help approximately 42,000 additional students each year.

The budget also proposes to reduce parental contribution expectations, by modifying the needs assessment process that is currently part of the Canada Student Loans Program.

Finally, the budget extends pilot efforts like the Employment Insurance Working While On Claim project, intended to remove disincentives (reduced EI payments) to accepting work while on assistance, extending the project until August 2016.

Those born outside of Canada may also benefit from an influx of $35-million over five years, to make permanent the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans pilot project, introduced in 2011. The project provides loans to foreign-trained individuals, to help cover credentialing costs.

Kate McCaffery with files from Alexandra Macqueen