Budget 2023: 5 ways it’ll affect your wallet
Budget 2023: 5 ways it‘ll affect your wallet
The 2023 federal budget from the Canadian Liberal government focuses on helping households manage their expenses by decreasing the cost of services like concert tickets and standardizing the charging port for mobile devices, among other measures.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland explained that the budget aims to support financially vulnerable Canadians who have struggled with inflation and rapidly rising interest rates. The proposed measures will directly benefit households, while others will affect the fees and interest rates that businesses charge Canadians.
Tax rebate aimed at grocery affordability
The government will offer a one-time tax rebate called the “grocery rebate” aimed at households with lower incomes to help them cope with high inflation in food prices. It will be delivered through the existing GST tax credit system and is expected to provide CAD 467 to a family of four, CAD 234 to a single adult without children, and CAD 225 to an average senior. The timeline for the rollout of this rebate depends on the 2023 budget’s passage in Parliament.
Cracking down on ‘junk fees’
The Liberal government is also taking action against “junk fees,” which include unexpected, hidden, and additional fees that businesses add to products or services, such as telecom services or shipping costs. The government did not provide many details on how it will tackle these fees, but it plans to work with regulatory agencies, provinces, and territories to reduce unfair and excessive costs on some common expenses. However, some measures in the 2023 budget could raise costs, such as the air travellers security charge (ATSC), which will increase for both domestic and international flights.
Help on loans
The government is also proposing measures to help Canadians struggling with high interest rates on loans, including a new mortgage code of conduct, through which financial institutions will provide Canadians with “fair and equitable access to relief measures” to help with mortgage payments.
The budget also proposes amendments to the Criminal Code to lower the threshold at which a rate of interest would be considered criminal, as well as a cap on the amount payday lenders can charge Canadians.
Standardizing chargers for devices
In addition, the government plans to standardize charging ports for smartphones and other devices and to create a new “right to repair” framework for broken appliances and electronics, making spare parts readily accessible to make repairs easier and reduce electronic waste.
Automatic tax filing to help low-income Canadians
Finally, the Canada Revenue Agency will pilot an “automatic filing system” to help vulnerable Canadians who do not regularly file taxes to take advantage of the benefits they may be missing out on.