Fri, 09 Dec 2022

ST. ANDREWS, Canada: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the government will provide $3.43 billion as inflation relief for low-income Canadian families.

Trudeau said the package will include a one-time C$500 rent assistance payment, as well as extra quarterly tax credits for individuals and families with low and middle incomes to
offset sales tax.

Trudeau's Liberal government will also provide up to C$650 annually for dental care to children under the age of 12 without access to dental insurance.

"These are things that will make a difference in people's lives right now, but they are also sufficiently targeted, that we are confident that they will not contribute to increased inflation," Trudeau told reporters in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

The Bank of Canada is concerned about rising prices, and while inflation cooled a bit in July from an almost four-decade high of 8.1 percent, the bank has pledged further interest rate hikes after raising them to their highest level in 14 years last week.

Derek Holt, head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank, said the stimulus will begin in the first and second quarter of 2023, stating, "I would expect this to add to inflationary pressures into the start of the year. It will increase the pressure upon the Bank of Canada to go over
4 percent with its policy rate."

Earlier reported by Reuters, the support package includes money previously allocated in the budget and C$3.1 billion in additional funding.

The payment to low-income renters and children's dental care plans are part of an agreement Trudeau made with the opposition New Democrats Party (NDP) in March, in exchange for its support to keep his minority government in power until 2025.

In a statement after Trudeau's announcement, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said, "I know so many families are overwhelmed by the soaring cost of groceries, rent, and gas, so this help right away is crucial."

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