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Momentum Policy Wins in the 2023 Federal Budget

The Federal Government recently released Budget 2023, and there are some very significant announcements — major wins! — for Momentum and those we work with.

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Mon Apr 3, 2023 by Momentum Staff

The Canadian Federal Parliament Building with a blue sky and green grass lawn.

The Federal Government recently released Budget 2023, and there are some very significant announcements — major wins! — for Momentum and those we work with.

First and foremost, we were delighted to see that the Federal Government included several of Momentum’s recommendations on high-cost credit and the criminal rate of interest. Most significantly, they have committed to lowering the criminal rate of interest to 35% APR and to reducing the allowable costs of payday lending.

Full details of the announcement on the Criminal Rate of Interest can be found on page 36 of Budget 2023.

Momentum and our community partners have been advocating for these changes, designed to reduce the risks of high-cost credit for people on a low-income or precarious incomes, for almost 10 years — their inclusion in Budget 2023 is a major victory for Canadians and Momentum is very proud of our contributions.

​​​Thank you to the participants who first raised the issues with us and who worked with us so tirelessly over the years, to the staff who helped us understand the importance of this issue, to the champions in the civil service who took our calls and invited us to meetings, to the elected officials who welcomed our research and viewpoints on the topic, and to our fellow advocates — thank you all!

Momentum has also been a long-term advocate for changes to Canada’s income tax system and its adjacent services to help more low-income Canadians receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

As such, we were very pleased to see the Federal Government’s intention to increase the reach of the File My Return program and launch a pilot program for automatic tax filing for low-income Canadians. For individuals and families living on low incomes, access to previously unclaimed government benefits through auto-filing will go a long way in helping make life more affordable.

Full details of the announcement on automatic tax filing can be found on page 38 of Budget 2023.

We were also heartened to see Budget 2023 announce a number of new programs and initiatives designed to make life more affordable for Canadians:

  • New social procurement policies that will make it easier for businesses owned by underrepresented groups to enter government procurement bids and secure contracts.
  • Changes to the Canada Student Financial Assistance program to make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.
  • Lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses.
  • A Grocery Rebate for low- and modest-income individuals and families to help combat the effects of inflation.

As Budget 2023 is implemented, Momentum looks forward to continuing to engage with leaders in the Federal Government to find opportunities to improve the lives of those living on low incomes.