Supporting Ontario's Middle-Income Earners
30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant
This program helps post-secondary students from low and middle-income families save $1,730 on tuition in degree programs and $790 for students in diploma or certificate programs.
The government has helped more than 74,000 Ontarians participate in training, with average funding of more than $16,000 per person.
Increased Minimum Wage
The minimum wage will increase to $11 on June 1, and proposed legislation will tie future increases to inflation. Since 2003, the government has increased the minimum wage from $6.85 to $11 an hour as of June 1 - a 60% increase. This means an additional $8,092.50 per person working full time on minimum wage.
The government is moving forward with a made-in-Ontario plan to help workers save enough for a comfortable retirement. Fewer than 35% of Ontario workers have a workplace-based pension plan. Only 28% of workers in the private sector have the benefit of pension plan membership.
Health Care Measures for Kids, Seniors and Families
The government is improving health care measures through actions such as:
- Expanding access to home care for 76,000 additional seniors over the past two years.
- Delivering about 765,000 flu shots this season through pharmacists as of February 25, 2014.
- Enhancing access to publicly funded physiotherapy, exercise and fall prevention services for more than 200,000 additional seniors and eligible patients.
- Increasing funding for Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) by more than $1 billion since 2003. Ontario's CCACs are now helping more than 650,000 people find the care that they need.
- Funding 21 different (routine and non-routine) vaccines, which protect against 16 diseases. In 2003, the government funded eight routine vaccines. The total cost savings for an individual in Ontario who starts their immunization in infancy and receives all eligible routine vaccines is about $2,545 per person, if paid out of pocket.
- Becoming the first province to fully fund insulin pumps for children and youth with Type 1 diabetes, saving families up to $18,300 per child in the first five years. The program expanded to include adults with Type 1 diabetes, effective September 1, 2008. To date, Ontario has provided approximately 13,200 Ontarians with funding to purchase insulin pumps.
- Providing funding through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) to help eligible Ontarians purchase needed devices and supplies. In 2012/13 alone, ADP expenditures amounted to $414.5 million. Without ADP funding, people with long-term physical disabilities would have to pay 100% of the cost of devices and supplies or lose the independence that the equipment allows them.
Once fully implemented in September 2014, full-day kindergarten will be available to about 265,000 four- and five year olds across Ontario. Ontario families can save up to $6,500 per year in child care costs by enrolling their child in full-day kindergarten.
Licensed spaces in child care centres have increased by approximately 107,400 since 2003. The government has increased child care funding to more than $1 billion - a 90% increase since 2003. The government established an annual investment of $63.5 million to fill the funding gap left by the federal government in 2007. At the time, this preserved approximately 8,500 child care spaces and helped 1,000 child care workers keep their jobs.
Children's Activity Tax Credit
The government helps parents with the cost to register their children in organized activities. The Children's Activity Tax Credit provides up to $54.10 per child per year and up to $108.20 for a child with a disability.
Strengthening Consumer Protection Measures
The Wireless Services Agreements Act will help the 80 per cent of Ontario families who have cell phone/wireless agreements benefit from clearly written, easier-to-understand contracts. They will be in a better position to compare costs and services in the marketplace, spend wisely, and protect their hard-earned money.
Cutting Auto Insurance Rates by 15% by August 2015
The government has established an auto insurance average rate reduction target of 15% to be achieved by August 2015, with the first average 8% target to be met by August 2014. The government will help to make auto insurance more affordable and continue to fight fraud. It is on track to reach the rate reduction targets.
Online Driver's Licence Renewal
In September 2013, Ontario became the first province in Canada to provide drivers with an online driver's licence renewal service. Now, eligible Ontario drivers can save time by renewing their licence from the comfort of their own home or office. More than 60,000 drivers have successfully renewed their licence online since it launched.
The government created the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit to help seniors stay in their homes longer. It is worth up to $1,500 each year.
Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant
This program provides up to $500 a year to help low- to moderate-income senior homeowners with the cost of property taxes.
Reducing Energy Costs
The government is working to reduce energy costs through measures such as:
- Helping Ontario families, farms and small businesses through the transition to a cleaner, modern electricity system by providing a 10% rebate on applicable electricity charges and taxes through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, for up to 3,000 kWh of electricity consumed each month.
- Assisting low- and middle-income seniors and other Ontarians through the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, providing up to $214 in relief for the sales tax on energy for each eligible single person or couple.
- Helping more than 250,000 northern families get more money in their pockets through the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, which provides single people age 18 and older with a credit of up to $141, and families, including single parents, with up to $216.
Enhancing Sales and Property Tax Credits
The government has enhanced sales and property tax credits and introduced the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. The payment of these credits was combined into the Ontario Trillium Benefit, paid in monthly instalments starting in July each year, to help people meet their expenses as bills arrive. The 2014 Ontario Sales Tax Credit will provide up to $281 per eligible adult and eligible child, and the 2014 Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit will provide property tax relief of up to $883 per eligible senior single person or couple and up to $749 per eligible non-senior single person or couple.