Photo: Izabella Balcerzak

How the federal budget will affect you

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By Justin Chandler

Billy needs a new pair of shoes and you might need to put aside more money for transit, Uber and beer.

Yesterday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau put on a new pair of oxfords and revealed the federal budget for the upcoming year. Analysts have described it as a “wait-and-see” budget because it doesn’t offer much in the way of new spending. It does detail how previously-announced funding on items like housing and childcare will be allocated over a period of years.

The federal deficit is to be $28.5 billion in the coming year, which is about $1 billion more than forecast in November. It’s also nearly three times what the Liberals said they were aiming for during the 2015 federal election.

Here are some ways the federal budget will affect you in the short-term:

Tax on Uber

The government will impose GST and HST on Uber and similar ride-hailing services, just like it does on taxis.  This will likely increase the cost of trips. The government will make about $3 million from that.

No money back on public transit 

On July 1, the non-refundable public transit tax credit will be phased out. Afterwards, public transit users will no longer be able to apply 15 per cent of their eligible transit expenses to reducing the amount of tax they owe.

If you pay $116.75 for a TTC post-secondary Metropass each month, your monthly credit was $17.51 and this measure will cost you $210.14 per year. If you buy TTC adult Metropasses for $146.25 each month, your monthly credit was $21.93 and you will lose a $263.25 credit.

The federal government is expecting to save $200 million per year with this cut.

Booze and tobacco

As of today, 200 cigarettes will cost 53 cents more.

A litre of wine will cost one cent more and a litre of spirits will cost about two cents more. A case of 24 beers will cost five cents more, meaning The Eyeopener may have to eliminate an editorial position (just kidding).

These measures are expected to raise $85 million for the government in the next year.

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