Ottawa, February 25, 2005

Archived - Budget 2005 Delivers on Key Commitments While Maintaining a Balanced Budget

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Budget 2005 delivers on the Government's commitments while keeping Canada's books balanced, Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale said today in Toronto.

In his remarks to the Canadian Club of Toronto and the Empire Club of Canada, Minister Goodale stated that Budget 2005 commits substantial new funding for health care, seniors, child care, national defence and the environment, while providing tax reductions and laying the groundwork for future progress in addressing the priorities of Canadians.

Among the key initiatives in this budget are:

  • Implementation of the Government's commitment to provide Canada's communities with a share of federal gas excise tax revenues.
  • $5 billion over five years to help fund new strategies to address climate change and protect Canada's natural environment.
  • $5 billion over five years for the development of a new Early Learning and Child Care initiative-a key commitment in last year's Speech from the Throne.
  • Enhanced tax assistance for persons with disabilities and caregivers through expanded eligibility for the disability tax credit and other measures.
  • Increasing Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits for low-income seniors by $2.7 billion over five years.
  • $735 million over five years to address the urgent needs of First Nations communities.
  • An increase in the amount of income that all Canadians can earn tax-free to $10,000 by 2009.
  • Elimination of the corporate surtax in 2008 and reducing the corporate income tax rate by 2 percentage points by 2010 to maintain Canada's tax rate advantage over the U.S.
  • Elimination of the 30-per-cent foreign property limit on pension and registered retirement savings plan investments.
  • $3.4 billion over five years to boost Canada's international assistance, with the goal of doubling assistance from its 2001-02 level by 2010-11.
  • $12.8 billion over five years (on a cash basis) to support expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and purchase new equipment.

Minister Goodale also pointed out that Canada is forecast to post balanced budgets or better in 2004-05 and in each of the next five fiscal years. He added that private sector economic forecasters predict Canada's economy will grow by 2.9 per cent this year and 3.1 per cent in 2006.

"It is an ambitious budget, one that reflects the agenda our government is implementing to help create an even better, stronger and more prosperous Canada," Minister Goodale concluded.

Further information on Budget 2005 can be obtained by visiting the Department of Finance Canada Web site or by phoning 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232) or 1 800 465-7735 (TTY for the speech and hearing impaired).

For further information:

David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080

Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861

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