The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Philippe Couillard, wants Quebec’s seniors to be able to remain active within their communities. To do this, he has committed to better support them financially through five concrete measures which will increase seniors’ available income, whether they choose to remain on the labour market or stay at home.
In a second mandate, the QLP government will work to:
Make seniors’ participation on the work force more attractive:
- A retired person could more fully benefit from their employment income by suspending their pension or by postponing it up to age 75. This flexibility will also allow the pension to be increased by more than 8.4% per year. Thus, a person whose monthly pension at 65 would be $1000, would have $1420 at 70 and $1840 at age 75.
- Experienced workers who want to keep working will get an increase of $1000 to the existing tax credit, which will now be $12,000, increasing the value of this tax credit to $1,800 and providing seniors aged 65 and up with $150 more per year.
Increase seniors’ accessible income:
- As of age 70, the value of the age-based tax credit will be increased by a maximum of $200, therefore reaching a maximum of $650, in order to better face the rising costs of living.
- Seniors and low-income families with incomes below $17,000, who spend at least 30% of their revenue on housing, will benefit from a $150 increase to the maximum amount of the housing allowance per year, bringing the yearly amount to $1110, an amount that will be indexed annually.
- Seniors aged 70 and up, with an income of $57,000 or less, can remain in the comfort of their homes for longer, thanks to a $1000 increase to the ceiling for the home support tax credit. We will also ask seniors’ residences to identify and provide details for all the services they offer, so that they may be eligible for the tax credit, which would simplify the application for the credit and make it accessible to a larger number of people.
Concretely, today seniors whose sole source of revenue is their pension are exempt from paying taxes on the first $22,600. With the measures we are proposing, the amount that will be tax exempt will reach $24,000. These people will therefore keep an additional $200 in their pockets.
Seniors who are working are currently exempt from paying tax up to $30,000. The combined impact of all these fiscal measures will mean that for someone who is 70 years old, and has an average income of up to $34,000, the tax-exempt amount will increase from $30,000 to $32,400. They will keep an extra $350 in their pockets.
And seniors who want to keep working or return to the workforce will be able to suspend or postpone their pension until age 75 and therefore fully benefit from their employment income. In other words, they won’t be forced to pay taxes on two incomes at the same time.
This commitment will, in time, represent an additional annual investment of 153 million dollars to better support senior citizens.
Also recall that to make life easier for seniors, we have already committed to investing an additional 150 to 200 million dollars annually in home care, to hire more staff and provide a wider range of care, among others. Furthermore, we have committed to making basic dental care free for seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement.