Federal government introduces enhanced child benefit plan

OTTAWA – The federal government has introduced its promised enhancement to Ottawa’s child benefit program —a move it says will bring tax relief for more families and help boost economic growth.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a motion today to implement the move, a key election vow for the Liberals.

The measure will consolidate, increase and re-target several family benefits — including the replacement of both the Canada child tax benefit and the universal child care benefit.

The updated plan will cost the public treasury about $10 billion more over the next two years than the combined total of the former Conservative government’s child benefits.

The Liberals have argued their overhauled child benefit will generate much-needed economic growth — and eventually help them end a projected string of five-straight federal deficits.

Morneau’s motion also included a new tax credit for teachers who buy classroom supplies, a deduction to help encourage skilled labour into northern and remote communities and a move to restore a tax credit for labour-sponsored investment funds.