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Budget 2014-2015 - June 2014

Budget 2014-2015 - June 2014
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June 4, 2014

Budget 2014–2015 is firmly focused on spurring Québec's economic recovery and restoring sound public finances.

The government is giving itself the means to achieve its objectives and return to a balanced budget in 2015–2016. This is not an obsession. It is an obligation. We want to end the structural imbalance in public finances that puts us deeper into debt each year and increasingly limits our freedom of action. We will thus undertake the efforts required to reduce the growth in government spending and achieve the balance needed for Québec's prosperity.

Every necessary effort will be made to create wealth and jobs and ensure Quebecers reap the benefits of an enviable social model. We will provide more support to businesses, particularly SMEs, we will capitalize on our natural resources, we will implement the maritime strategy, we will relaunch the Plan Nord and we will continue to invest in our infrastructure.

With Budget 2014–2015, the government is taking the first step on the “critical path” we must travel to restore fiscal balance. This reasonable budget is rigorous and inspires hope thanks to the commitments it contains. It will improve the lives of all Quebecers and future generations.

Carlos Leitão
Minister of Finance

The budget at a glance

Restoring public finances

  • New deficit targets: $3.1 billion in 2013–2014 and $2.35 billion in 2014–2015. Return to a balanced budget projected for 2015–2016
  • Creation of the Ongoing Program Review Committee to examine the relevance of programs and existing structures
  • Creation of the Québec Taxation Review Committee to take stock of Québec’s tax system and recommend ways to improve it
  • Once the budget has been balanced, surpluses will be used to trim the debt and cut taxes

Controlling spending

  • Over 90% of the effort needed to restore public finances will be made on the spending side in 2014–2015, and 95% in 2015–2016
  • General freeze on public and parapublic sector staffing levels until fiscal balance is restored
  • 21% reduction in tax assistance for businesses

Raising revenue

  • New measures to fight tax evasion
  • Increase in the tobacco tax of $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes as of June 5, 2014
  • Standardization of the rates of the specific tax on alcoholic beverages, which currently depend on the type of product and where it is consumed
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Supporting private investment and SMEs

  • Promoting innovation
    • Introduction of the Créativité Québec program to support innovation and performance in SMEs
    • Holiday on the contribution to the Health Services Fund on salaries for SMEs that hire new workers specializing in fields related to the natural and applied sciences
  • Growing exports
    • Reduction from 8% to 4% in the general tax rate for manufacturing SMEs, which will benefit nearly 7 500 SMEs as of this year
    • Additional deduction for the transportation costs of remote manufacturing SMEs
    • $20 million over 3 years for Export Québec
  • Boosting business financing
    • $25-million increase in the capitalization of the Anges Québec Capital fund
    • Participation by Québec in a new venture capital fund in partnership with the private sector and the federal government, with total capitalization of $375 million
    • Deferral to December 31, 2015 of loan repayments to local investment funds
    • $2.5 million more over 5 years for the capitalization of the Fiducie du Chantier de l’économie sociale
  • Developing entrepreneurship
    • $500 000 a year over 3 years for university entrepreneurship centres
    • Changes to the Entrepreneur Program and the Investor Program to attract the best candidates
    • $9.5 million over 5 years to strengthen Réseau Femmessor
  • Reducing the administrative burden
    • The government’s objective is to cut the cost of administrative formalities imposed on businesses by 20% by 2015
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The maritime strategy

  • Strategy to enhance the tourism potential of the St. Lawrence River
  • Implementation of a high-value-added logistical hub in Montérégie to create a focal point for goods transhipment in North America
  • Support for the development of the blue economy, which applies to all things related to exploitation and development of marine products

Relaunching the Plan Nord

  • Establishment of the Société du Plan Nord to coordinate development with all partners
  • $100 million for suitable educational facilities that will contribute to the academic and vocational success of people living in the North
  • Feasibility study on the construction of a new railway line to the Labrador Trough
  • Relaunching of the Québec Tourism Strategy North of the 49th Parallel
  • Creation of the Capital Mines Hydrocarbures fund to acquire equity stakes in mining, oil and gas companies so that Quebecers receive a direct share of the profits from resource exploitation

Natural resources

  • Forest industry
    • $570 million in 2014–2015 for silvicultural work and forest development and management
    • $20 million over 3 years for forestry companies and cooperatives that want to renew their equipment
    • A $20-million fund to develop the residual forest biomass sector
  • Maintenance of the current mining tax regime
  • Strategic environmental assessment of all oil and gas development in Québec and on Anticosti Island
  • Revival of the program to purchase electric power from small hydroelectric plants
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Municipalities and regions

  • Montréal, national metropolis
    • $25 million to assist Montréal in delivering services commensurate with its responsibilities as a metropolis
    • Studies relating to Hôpital de Verdun, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur, the Quartier de la santé and the cover on Autoroute Ville-Marie, as well as public transit between the West Island and downtown Montréal
    • Up to $60 million over the next 4 years for the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montréal
    • $26.4 million toward the tourism renovation project at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
  • Québec, national capital
    • Initial steps toward widening of Autoroute Henri-IV
    • Participation in the construction of an indoor ice skating oval
    • Redevelopment of the Dalhousie site
  • Establishment of a training program for volunteer and part-time firefighters
  • $1.2 billion for municipal, sports, community and recreational infrastructure
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Supporting seniors, families and the most vulnerable

  • For seniors
    • Increase in the tax credit for experienced workers from $3 000 to $4 000 as of January 1, 2015
    • New refundable tax credit of $200 for physical, artistic, cultural and recreational activities for seniors
    • Increase in funding for the infrastructure adaptation program under the Age-Friendly Municipalities initiative
  • For families
    • $50-million increase in the budget allocated to the Sports and Physical Activity Development Fund for sport and recreation facilities
    • Cancellation of the $2-a-day increase in the rate for childcare services and indexation of the parental contribution to $7.30 as of October 1, 2014
    • Addition of 6 300 childcare spaces as of 2014–2015, then 4 000 spaces every year thereafter until the network is completed
  • For the most vulnerable
    • Construction of 3 000 social housing units in all regions
    • $8 million to fight homelessness
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  • Creation of the Avenir Mécénat Culture fund to provide sustainable funding for the Mécénat Placements Culture program
  • Roll-out of the digital culture strategy to help Québec’s artistic and cultural communities adapt to new technologies and position their works in all regions and internationally