Feds table new budget
The federal budget tabled May 2 got banner headlines for its 28 mostly middle-class tax cuts — including a one percent slice in the GST — but there were also a few notable breaks for university students and post-secondary education on financial assistance, infrastructure and research funding. They include:
- A one-billion dollar payout will be made to provincial and territorial governments for direct investment in post-secondary infrastructure and equipment in the fall, assuming the government's surplus projections hold up. This investment is the latest incarnation of a promise that originated in negotiations following the last federal budget, between the Liberals and the NDP.
- An additional $100 million for research has been earmarked for 2006-07, including $40 million for the three federal research granting agencies — the CIHR, NSERC and the SSHRC — $20 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation and an additional $40 million toward the indirect costs program to help cover the additional expenses incurred by universities as a result of research activities. This change is expected to raise the average reimbursement rate of the direct costs of research to about 27 percent.
- The capital-gains tax on listed stocks donated to charity has been removed. The change, effective May 2, means donors will no longer be taxed on the capital gain accrued on securities they donate to a registered charity like McGill. Currently, a taxpayer who donates shares that have gone up in value has to pay tax on 25 percent of the increased value. This tax has been eliminated.
- Income tax on scholarships and bursaries has been eliminated.
- A new textbook tax credit has been introduced.
- Initial funding to establish an agency for assessment and recognition of foreign credentials.