GST Refund Bill passed by MPs and sent to Senate

One of two Liberal affordability bills passed the House of Commons on Thursday, with all-party support. It is now sent back to the Senate for further consideration.

Bill C-30, which aims to implement the promised temporary doubling of the GST credit for low-to-moderate income Canadians, was introduced by the federal government on the first day of the fall sitting on 19 september.

According to the government, increasing the credit would mean eligible single Canadians without children would receive up to $234 more; a couple with two children would receive up to $467 more; and seniors, on average, would receive $225 more.

While the Conservatives have decided to join other opposition parties in supporting the bill – what the Liberals call “targeted tax relief” – the calls continue from across the to get the government to do more to address the cost of living concerns of Canadians.

The government says about 11 million individuals and families would benefit from a boost from the GST rebate hike, which is expected to administer $2.5 billion in additional funding to current recipients in the weeks following the entry into force of the bill.

MPs fast-tracked the second reading of the bill last week and the House of Commons finance committee held a meeting on the bill on Monday. There, MPs heard testimony from Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, as well as officials from the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s office, before concluding their review.

After the committee sent the six-page bill back to the House without any amendments, it moved to report stage on Tuesday thanks to a multiparty agreement to speed up legislation. It completed third reading on Thursday, pass unanimously.

Freeland is scheduled to address the Senate on Bill C-30 Thursday night. She has previously called for the work of the Senate to be completed “as soon as possible” so that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can send payments to eligible people before the end of the year.