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Family allowances will be back, and richer [CA-QC]

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Dougherty, Kevin
Publication Date: 
5 Mar 2004

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Finance Minister Yves Seguin wants to bring back family allowance cheques for all Quebec families. "It will be more generous than the old system," Seguin told reporters on the final day of his pre-budget consultations.

Quebec's family allowance plan disappeared in 1997 when the Parti Quebecois government introduced $5-a-day day care.

Parents who can't get their children into the public day-care system or who choose not to use the system, are left out now.

But Seguin said his family-allowance program would be available to all parents.

Anti-poverty activist Vivian Labrie, who presented a brief to the minister yesterday, said she wants to see Seguin's budget, which he said would come "a week to 10 days" after the federal budget on March 23, before judging his family-allowance plan.

But to be adequate, the government would have to spend at least $400 million, she said.

Seguin said he would get more money for families by reforming the maze of tax credits established over the past 30 years, taking away tax breaks from the wealthy and cracking down on tax evasion and offshore bank accounts.

Seguin has been travelling throughout the province since late January, seeking public input for his budget.

- reprinted from Montreal Gazette