The B.C. government has announced tax breaks for families with children under 18-years-old. (File Photo)

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

The B.C. government is creating tax breaks for families with children under 18, combining the previously established Early Childhood Benefit into a single new initiative: the BC Child Opportunity Benefit.

Coming into effect in October, 2020, the new benefit raises eligibility significantly. A family with one child is eligible for $1,600 per year, two children up to $2,600 per year and three children up to $3,400 a year – a jump from the existing benefit’s maximums of $660, $1,320 and $1,980 respectively.

The benefit is reduced by four per cent of each family’s net income over $25,000 and phased out at a four per cent rate of each family’s net income over $80,000.

James said the benefit takes a year to implement while the province works out details with the Canadian Revenue Agency.

The refundable tax credit will provide $380 million annually to B.C. families, and has no impact on eligibility for child care benefits.

RELATED: New spaces a step to universal child care

Viveca Ellis of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition said the benefit is a powerful tool to combat child poverty, but says the threshold – $25,000 – is too low to start reducing the benefit.

“We are disappointed to see the threshold for clawing back at $25,000. Leaving the threshold very low…means that single mother families and other families that are in poverty are going to see their BC Opportunity Benefit clawed back while they are still below the poverty line.”

“We would like to see that threshold raised right up to $40,000.”

No new funding was announced for child care programs in B.C. but funding continues to carry over from the 2018 budget –including a fee reduction for parents of children in licensed care up to $4,200 a year and an Affordable Child Care Benefit eligible to families households earning under $111,000.

“We added $300 million to support child care programs,” said finance minister Carole James. “Affordability is there for families and we expect that to grow and certainly hope that to grow…we’re also building child care spaces and supporting bursaries for early childhood educators.”

RELATED: Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Energy efficiency session at the Nelson Public Library

Nelson Hydro customers who are seniors are now eligible for free weatherization upgrades

Local Parachutes for the Planet visit B.C. Legislature

Nelson students made parachutes to push for climate change action

LETTER: Fix the potholes

From reader Bob Johnson

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read