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Taxpayers, ambulance users get break in Manitoba budget; seniors take a hit

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government tabled a $13.5-billion budget Tuesday. Here’s a look at who benefits and who takes a hit:

Winners: Taxpayers. Personal income tax brackets to be indexed to inflation to bring Manitoba in line with most other provinces.

Winners: The urgently sick. Ambulance fees are to go down slightly as the province phases in reductions.

Winners: Users of the Department of Families. The department is to get a 10 per cent budget boost, including an increase of about 4.5 per cent for Child and Family Services.

Losers: Seniors who own homes. Those earning between $40,000 and $63,500 per household a year to see rebate on education property taxes cut by about $100. Those earning more than $63,500 are to lose the rebate entirely.

Losers: Opposition political parties. They are to lose their annual per-vote subsidy worth about $600,000 a year. The Tories have never accepted their share.

Losers: Fiscal hawks. Budget isn’t expected to be balanced for eight years.