Liberals plan increase to Canada child benefit

by Nick Kirmse, Staff

CTV News has learned the Liberals are preparing to announce an increase to the Canada child benefit (CCB).

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will announce an increase to the CCB on Monday morning, CTV News has learned. The increase will come into effect July 20.

The current CCB program began in 2016, providing families with a tax-free monthly payment to help with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.

The payments vary from family to family, and are based on income, as well as the number of children.

The new maximum yearly benefit will be $6,639 per child under the age of 6, and $5,602 per child aged 6 through 17. That means that families will be receiving between $12 and $30 more a month than they receive under the current system.

Increasing payments will cost the government more than $24.3 billion. Nearly 3.7 million families receive the child benefit.

While the number may seem high for a government projecting a $19.8 deficit in 2019-20, the government says that the cost was accounted for in the 2018 budget.

They also defend the move by pointing to Statistics Canada data showing that 278,000 children were lifted out of poverty between 2015 and 2017 as a result of the program.

The changes will mark the second occasion the government has raised the child benefit since it launched in 2016. The last increase happened in July 2018 – two years ahead of the scheduled increase.

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