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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Severe storm warning remains in effect for the Kootenays

Two special weather statements have been issued for the West Kootenay

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read