News

How the Liberal budget might affect you

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looks on as Finance Minister Charles Sousa as he announces the provincial budget at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont.  on Thursday May 1, 2014. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looks on as Finance Minister Charles Sousa as he announces the provincial budget at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday May 1, 2014. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency

TORONTO - 

If Ontarians are feeling an itch in their pockets, it could have something to do with the Kathleen Wynne 2014 budget.

Whether a person ends up richer or poorer as a result of this budget depends on a number of factors.

Smokers will pay more taxes for their cigarettes — up $3.25 to $27.95 in taxes for a carton of 200 cigarettes.

People who make more than $150,000 will cough up more too.

Someone in the $250,000 bracket will see their annual provincial income taxes rise to $97,900 from $96,050.

A person earning $600,000 in Ontario will pay $10,000 more a year as a result of this budget, according to Don Carson, a tax partner with MNP.

Those at the lowest end of the pay scale, those earning minimum wage, will see their wage rise to $11 an hour.

The Ontario government proposes to introduce a mandatory provincial pension plan that would be phased in beginning in 2017 for the approximately three million workers who do not have a workplace plan.

The self-employed and those working in industries that are federally regulated are excluded.

A person earning about $45,000 would see $788 a year come off the paycheque but get up to $6,410 a year at retirement depending on years in the workforce.

An employee whose salary is about $90,000 annually would pay about $1,643 more a year in payroll taxes, and could count on about $12,815 a year on retirement.

Employers would have to match those funds.

Large corporations will lose a small business deduction, but individual companies could win big in a new $2.5-billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund.

For hydro ratepayers, the government will remove the debt retirement charge from hydro bills in 2016 — a $67 a year savings — but end the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit at the same time which boosts bills by $180.

The government is proposing to index the Ontario Child Benefit to inflation, guaranteeing low income families that this support will rise with the cost of living.

More low-income children will be eligible for dental services and school nutrition programs.

There are also wage increases for personal support workers in publicly-funded homes and community care sector which will bring their base wage up to $16.50 an hour by 2017.

Front-line child-care workers will earn $1 an hour more in 2015 and $1 an hour more in 2016.

People on social assistance will see a 1% increase in their rates in 2014.

Drivers who don’t like gridlock and can afford it would be able to pay a toll and get access to high occupancy lanes on some highways in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.


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