Since 2016, advocates have been pushing the federal government to speed up their plans to index the CCB to inflation, which was originally scheduled for July 2020. The announcement yesterday will make that happen. This will mean an additional $5.6 billion investment over the next five years.
The exact amount of benefits a family will receive depends on their family composition, number and age of children, and income. However, it’s worth noting that the maximum benefit for one child under six (currently $6,400 / year) will increase by $96 starting in July 2018 and by an additional $130 in July 2019.
More details will come in the spring budget about the additional $500 million annual investment in the WITB.
We know that these investments are a critically important addition to the federal government’s ability to address poverty in Canada. However, we also know that much more needs to be done.
For example, the federal government must resolve a number of problems around access to the Canada Child Benefit.
Many Indigenous peoples do not receive the CCB for their children, in part because of issues like lack of tax filing. In fact, all those who do not file their taxes, for myriad reasons, are similarly prevented from receiving the CCB. And people without regularized immigration status in Canada are categorically denied the CCB for their children. These problems also affect receipt of the Ontario Child Benefit.
As well, many problems exist for people who are appealing decisions around the CCB or who have been audited by the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA’s appeal processes are inappropriate for these critically important financial benefits. The problems with access to justice that result must be addressed.
Our partner, Campaign 2000, has released a response to the Fall Economic Statement, which recounts many other actions the federal government should take to address poverty. You can read that response here: https://campaign2000.ca/c2000-praises-ccb-indexing/
As well, you can read the Caledon Institute’s response to the federal Statement here: http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/1118ENG.pdf
Commentary on the Fall Economic Statement from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is here: http://behindthenumbers.ca/2017/10/24/middle-class-children-children-working-hard-join-middle-class/
And you can read the federal government’s news release and find the link to the Fall Economic Statement here: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n17/17-103-eng.asp