Vegreville-Wainwright MP Leon Benoit was impressed with the recent federal budget and says it is particularly good for people who live in the Lloydminster area.
He says the tax reduction for small businesses and payments to families with children are particularly good for a largely entrepreneurial city with a great number of young families like Lloydminster.
“It was a lot more than I thought it would be. I knew with dropping oil prices it would be really difficult to balance the budget,” said Benoit. “I’m quite surprised they managed the tax reduction for small businesses, which are huge in the Lloydminster area, and also our payments to families with children. Increasing the amount for children under six and also adding it to families with children from six to 17 years old, that’s a lot of extra cost and I was really quite amazed that we could manage that.”
Another point he mentioned as important for the area is the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE), which makes it easier for farmers and small businesses to pass assets down to the next generation.
The LCGE stood at $500,000 when the Conservatives got into office and has since been raised several times. This year, the exemption was raised to $1 million and Benoit says this will be helpful for farmers who want to sell their land to their children or even retire.
“Small businesses don’t have the same opportunities as a lot of other people to actually save for retirement so I was very thrilled to hear that,” he said.
Regarding payments to families, Benoit says that a family of four earning an average income will pay roughly $5,500 less per year on the same earnings as they did in 2006. He criticized the opposition parties who he says recommended that money be put elsewhere.
He says what the Conservatives have done for small businesses and families is the core of the budget and that they are continuing with their solid management of the economy, which is leading to long-term jobs and to increased prosperity
“Lloydminster has an incredibly large number of small businesses,” he said.
“This is really good for Lloydminster and for families, Lloydminster is a very young city, and for families the increase in child care payments and income splitting and all that as a package, is hugely beneficial. So I think this will really benefit Lloydminster even more than the rest of the country.”