If you’re out of work, Finance Minster Jim Flaherty wants to help you get a job. In the 2013 budget released at four p.m. on March 21st, Flaherty announced how the government will be heavily focusing on job training, job creation, and job placement. Record levels of household debt and a shortage of skilled labour is stunting Canada’s growth, according to Flaherty. The Minister is concerned that a number of jobs in Canada are vacant because there is no one qualified to fill them.
This Canada budget 2013 recap breaks down how Flaherty plans to spend your tax dollars in the coming 12 months in regards to jobs and skills development.
Canada Jobs Grant
Taking centre stage is a new program that will work to join under-skilled workers with employers needing skilled help. Called the Canada Jobs Grant, this program will provide unemployed workers with training for job positions currently experiencing skilled labour shortages. The grant is worth $15,000 and will be equally provided by the Federal and provincial governments and the employer requiring the skilled worker. The under-skilled worker can use the $15,000 for any suitable training that gets them job ready. Once signed by all provinces and territories, Flaherty projects this will provide 130,000 people with skills training.
A Focus On Under-Represented Groups
In addition the budget is providing $222 million to help specific Canadian groups find work, including the disabled, Aboriginals, as well as the younger generation and new grads. These new labour agreements will ensure Canada’s most under-represented groups will receive better opportunities There is also another $70-million set aside for paid internships for new graduates.
More Spending to Boost Jobs
The budget also announced $47 billion for new infrastructure spending, which will focus on “national, regional and local significance”. The goal again is to create more jobs and help kick start the economy, which Flaherty says will continue to face progress-impeding headwinds. As well, a bonus for small business owners they will get an extension of the Employment Insurance credit for new hires, making it cheaper to employ more staff.
Cracking Down on Tax Cheats
The government is setting up a dedicated “snitch line” and promises a reward to anyone who reveals international tax cheats. The compensation is a hefty 15 per cent of whatever lost taxes the government is able to collect. There will also be more help for the homeless with $119-million over five years to transition them off the streets.
Summing Up The Budget
This is Flaherty’s eighth budget and probably his least exciting one. This was more of a spending shuffle as there was very little new money announced to help grow the economy. Flaherty himself says this budget “contains the smallest increase in discretionary spending in nearly 20 years.” There are no new tax cuts or major spending announcements as there have been in the past. The most exciting part of the budget is the announcement it will be eliminating tariffs for most imported sports goods and kids’ clothing.
Flaherty remains focused on eliminating the nearly $26-billion deficit completely by 2015. It’s a crucial promise that has to be fulfilled if the Conservatives wish to hang on to power in the next election.