Budget will improve lives of Manitobans – April 21 2021 Canstar Herald article by Andrew Micklefield

Budgets are never just about money, they’re always about people, and Manitoba’s 2021 budget charts the course to help all Manitobans by creating jobs, lowering taxes and strengthening core services.

On April 7, Manitoba’s government committed to spend more per-person on health (up $156 million), education (up $91 million for K-12) and social services (up $34 million) combined than any other province.

Budget 2021 committed a record $2.1 billion for strategic infrastructure, stimulating construction jobs and building roads, schools, bridges and other projects. The NDP’s record years of infrastructure spending hovered around $100 million, the next three years will see our government spending upwards of $500 million annually.

Ordinary Manitobans will benefit from tax breaks, changing the NDP’s record of making us one of Canada’s highest-taxed provinces. Home owners will receive education property tax rebates as school funding comes off property tax bills. Retail sales tax will be removed from personal services and vehicle registration fees will drop by 10 per cent. Small business payroll tax thresholds will also decrease.

In health care, $50 million will improve wait times for surgeries, $23 million will improve access to cancer treatments and $9 million will add 120 more personal care home beds. Diabetics under 25 will receive insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.

A new Department of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery ($342 million) will engage the public to form a mental health and addictions strategy and increase 24/7 housing supports for mental health. This year, $12.5 million more will be spent on Community Living and disABILITY Services, and more than $2.5 million more is available for wrap-around support for Manitobans experiencing homelessness.

Rent control guidelines will be frozen through 2023; and $22 million more will help more low-income Manitobans pay their rent. There are numerous investments being made in education, childcare, job creation, jobs for youth programs, public safety and climate change.

Other commitments include investing in the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, new electric bus infrastructure in Winnipeg and a $25 million trust to protect the heritage value of the Hudson’s Bay building.

Budgets are never about money, they’re always about people. I’m honoured to serve the people of Rossmere every day, and to be part of a government committed to improving their lives and strengthening our province.To find out more, read the budget for yourself at http://www.gov.mb.ca/budget2021/ index.html.

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