Feb 25, 2016

By Bob Komsic

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The Wynne government’s budget says the deficit for this fiscal year’s expected to come in at $5.7-billion, $4.6-billion in 2016/17 and then zero the following year.
The province is moving to make university and college tuition effectively free for students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less.
The price on a carton of 200 cigarettes rises $3 12:01am Friday.
Wine’s getting more expensive as the minimum price goes to $7.95 and there’ll be a series of increase in the LCBO’s mark-up starting with a 2% hike in June, about 10-cents-a-bottle.
The $30 fee for Drive Clean emissions tests will be eliminated next year but not the tests which will cost the province $60-million a year.
Hospital funding is going up for the first time in five years, an increase of 2%, but there’ll be 5% more for home and community-based care, a doubling of funding for palliative care and $10-million to address the needs of those with dementia and other neurological conditions.
The shingles vaccine will be free, saving Zoomers about $200.
Wanda Morris CARP
CARP’s Wanda Morris says ”while members will be pleased that the government is addressing their day-to-day realities of dementia, shingles, and rising electricity costs, many will be disappointed that key programs and credits will be taken away.”
There are changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit plan.
The income thresholds will rise – up to $19,300 per year for single seniors and $32,300 for couples, but the annual deductible will go from $100 to $170 and the co-payments will increase $1 to $7.11.
Anyone considering home renos take note as the Ontario Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit to help seniors live independently will be discontinued next year.
CARP reiterates its support of the province’s decision to prioritize an enhanced CPP over an made-in-Ontario Pension Plan.
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