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

Esquimalt speed skating week helps province determine find fastest skater

Speed Week takes place on Dec. 17 at Archie Browning arena

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Goldstream church offers free festive feast

Gordon United Church says all are welcome to attend Monday’s meal

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read