OTTAWA — Legislation to temporarily double GST rebates to help low- and modest-income Canadians cope with high inflation is expected to pass the House of Commons later this week.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the measure is "a balance between compassion and fiscal responsibility."
Freeland appeared at the House of Common Finance Committee Monday where she commended MPs from all parties for supporting the measure.
The bill is expected to come to a final vote in the House of Commons Thursday, after which it will be sent to the Senate.
The government expects it will take three to four weeks for the payments to go out after the bill receives royal assent.
The parliamentary budget officer says in an analysis the boosted GST rebates will cost $2.6 billion and will send money to more than 11 million Canadians.
The additional payments will be sent as a lump sum but are equivalent to doubling the GST rebate cheques sent in October and January. The maximum increase will be $467 for single individuals without children, $612 for single parents or married and common-law couples, and $161 for every child under the age of 19.
The measure is part of a set of three new policies the Liberals proposed last month to help Canadians deal with the rising cost of living. The other two are a new dental care benefit for children under 12 from low and modest-income families, and a one-time $500 housing rental allowance for low-income renters.
The measures came as pressure mounted to provide financial assistance to low-income Canadians as inflation soared.
The Conservatives first came out against the GST proposal but have since indicated they would support the bill.
However, the Conservatives have said they won't support the separate bill creating the dental care and housing benefits.
The Trudeau government struck a deal with Jagmeet Singh's NDP earlier this year that would see the party support the minority Liberals in exchange for advancing certain NDP priorities, including dental care and the rental allowance top-up.
Singh also asked the Liberals to increase the GST rebates but that is not officially part of the Liberal-NDP confidence agreement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.
Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press