ELECTION 2015: Conservatives pledge single seniors tax credit

Tory break would translate into $300 less in annual tax for widows, single seniors with private pension income

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking earlier in the campaign in Surrey.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought to shore up Conservative support among older voters by promising a new tax break for single and widowed seniors if his government is re-elected.

The $2,000 tax credit would translate into up to $300 a year in reduced income tax for nearly 1.6 million single seniors who have private pension income beyond CPP and OAP.

Eligible seniors could combine it with the existing $2,000 pension income tax credit for a combined benefit of up to $600 a year.

“It is an affordable commitment,” Harper said Tuesday in North Vancouver, noting it will be phased in over four years at an eventual annual cost of nearly $400 million. “It helps the seniors who need it most.”

Both the NDP and Liberals have promised to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for lower income seniors.

The Liberals say their proposed immediate 10 per cent hike to GIS payments would add up to an extra $920 a year for a low-income senior.

The Conservatives have sought to portray Liberal and NDP promises as unaffordable and therefore unreliable.

The Liberals and NDP have also pledged to scrap the Conservatives’ 2012 decision to make many future seniors wait an extra two years until age 67 before becoming eligible for OAP and GIS. That change is to be phased in starting in 2023.

Both Opposition parties aim to expand CPP, drawing criticism from Harper that their approaches amount to hefty payroll tax hikes.

The NDP and Liberals both would unwind another Harper government change they say benefits only the wealthy – the increased $10,000 contribution limit for Tax Free Savings Accounts.

But both parties say they would preserve income splitting for seniors.

Earlier in the week, NDP leader Tom Mulcair pledged to bolster health care transfers to the provinces with an extra $1.8 billion.

Just Posted

Chilliwack organ transplant recipients thank hospital staff during Operation Popcorn

Two double-lung recipients helped deliver large boxes of popcorn to say thanks to doctors and nurses

Chilliwack mom gives back to Royal Columbian Hospital NICU with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Wild Fishmas event in Chilliwack Sunday for salmon defence

It’s a fish-focused festive fundraiser Dec. 8 at the UFV Indigenous Student Gathering Place

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Fraser Valley Regional District administration/government costs set to rise by 18%

Mosquito control and fire dispatch costs also set for increase

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read