Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks on the Budget 2018 Canada Child Benefit
It’s a pleasure to be back in Aurora, to talk about what we’re doing to build a better Canada for all Canadians. As many of you know, we tabled our third budget this past week. Third. Budget season is always a chance for us to reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish so far, what we should be focused on next, but this year was a bit different. For one, we’re more than halfway through our term. As we take stock of our progress, I’d like to talk to you about an important program that helps the middle class and those working hard to join it: The Canada Child Benefit.
Some of you will remember that it was a central feature of our electoral platform. It was also one of the very first things we did as a government. The reason for that is very simple. It’s the kind of real change that Canadians overwhelmingly voted for. We heard from parents who told us that despite working harder than ever before, they were struggling to make ends meet. They were spending more time at work and less time at home with their families, because the cost of living was going up and their wages simply weren’t. And as any parent would they worried most about what that meant for their kids and their future.
The CCB was born out of these conversations with Canadians. We wanted to do more to alleviate this anxiety by giving hardworking families a little extra help at the end of each month. Today, nine out of ten families have more money in their pockets for things like new skates or hockey camp. The CCB now helps more than 6 million children and their families and has helped lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty since its inception in 2016. That’s what real change looks like.
With the new Canada Child Benefit, parents also have more money to invest in our economy and to contribute to our country’s growth. The unemployment rate is among the lowest recorded in recent years, and we recorded the highest economic growth rate of G7 countries in 2017. Job creation is booming, and the economy is doing well. Our plan is working not only as planned, but better than planned. This proves that when we invest directly in middle class families, the whole country benefits. In that context, we announced last fall that the Canada Child Benefit would be strengthened.
You see, not only did our plan to grow the economy by supporting the middle class work as planned, it actually worked better than planned. So we’re able to actually move forward the timeline for indexing the CCB to inflation. So starting in July, this July, two years earlier than originally planned, the CCB will be indexed to inflation. That means that when the costs of groceries goes up, so will the benefit cheque families receive each month. Indexing the CCB will provide an additional 5.6 billion dollars in support to Canadians and their families over the next five years.
Let me give you an example of what this looks like in practice. In 2017 a single mom earning 35,000 dollars with two kids, aged three and eight, received $11,125 tax-free through the CCB; $3,535 dollars more than under the previous system. Now, indexing the benefit two years earlier than originally planned will contribute $560 towards the increasing costs of raising your children for the 2019/2020 benefit year. So this single parent will be able to use this additional money for things like summer camps and in turn, she’ll be better positioned to advance her career on her own terms.
With Budget 2018, we’re building on the progress we’ve made since the beginning of our mandate while putting a special focus on ensuring that all Canadians can fully and equally participate in the economy. You know, over the years I’ve spent a lot of time in community centres like this and it’s been incredibly heartwarming and inspiring to see the number of families who’ve come forward, parents who say: “Wow, that money every month, tax free, is making a real difference in the lives of our kids.” And we’re seeing it, we’re feeling it in community centres, in libraries, and schools, right across the country, that this extra money has given people more confidence about their own future, about their kids’ future, more money for their daily expenses.
But I’ll be honest with you. Every now and then, I talk to someone, maybe someone working behind the counter at a place like this, or someone who just approaches me in the street and says: “I’ve seen firsthand what the CCB has done to our schools, to our communities, the impact that this child benefit has done to low-income parents, to middle income families that are getting ahead and get benefits. But Mr. Trudeau, I don’t have any kids, and I’m working really hard. How are you helping me out?” Well, that’s why in Budget 2018 we’re moving forward with enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit which is helping low-income folks in the workforce make more money to be able to incentivize them to stay in the workforce or get into the workforce if they’ve fallen out of it.
So whether it’s the Canada Child Benefit, or the Canada Workers Benefit, our focus in this budget and on every budget and every day that we serve Canadians, is focused on helping the folks who need that little extra boost so that they can be confident about their future. They can contribute to growing their communities and build a better, stronger economy for us all. See, a strengthened CCB is just part of our commitment to help families get ahead to plan for their future.
So once again, I want to thank you all for joining us today.
Thank you very much.