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Nearly $9-million dollars being given to London parents through universal child care benefit payment

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Fraser, Tom
Publication Date: 
20 Jul 2015



Families in London (and across the country) could see a hefty cheque from the Canadian government throughout the week.

The federal government is rolling out its new $3-billion Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) to families that have signed up to receive it.

The first instalment is a retroactive payout dating back to January 1st, which means the first payment will be much larger than others that flow in the months ahead.

For a young family with two children under six, they can expect to recieve $1,040 Monday (six months of retroactive pay at $60 a month for January-June, plus $160 for July, equals $520 per child aged five and under).

Ongoing, the new measure will give parents $160 a month for each child under six, which totals $1,920 a year.

The federal government also introduced a new benefit of $60 per month for children ages six through 17 who are still in their parents care, they can expect $420 per child Monday (six months of retroactive pay at $60 a month for January-June, plus $60 for July).

Speaking on The Craig Needles Show, Canadian Press reporter Jordan Press says families in London can expect to see at least a little bit of that money as Conservatives try to hold three of the city’s four federal ridings.

“London-Fanshawe, Elgin-Middlesex-London, London West, London North Centre, I mean, combined, there’s at least, about, eight million, nine million dollars that’s going into the area today.”

Until the start of the new program, the UCCB gave parents $100 per month for each child under six years old. The benefit is available to all Canadian parents, regardless of income or if they use childcare services.

Parents who are already recieving the UCCB benefit will recieve the retroactive payment from January 1st, and increased monthly amount automatically.

Back in the spring, the government estimated as many as 200,000 eligible families had not signed up despite their extensive PR campaign. To apply for UCCB, visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website here.

The Opposition parties have criticized the government for suggesting the benefit has an economic spinoff.

The NDP and Liberals say the government is simply using the payout as a political tool.

However, Press tells AM980 the move makes sense, particularly in hotly contested ridings like in London.

“They want to get those votes, they want to get the votes in some of those suburban ridings that can basically help them win an election,” he says. “Every vote counts and if we’re looking at the polls these days, we’re looking at tight races across the country.”

Opposition parties didn’t shy away from a chance to criticize the child care benefit.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says, if elected, he would do away with the benefit in order to give money to people who need it the most.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Tom Mulcair says he would keep the child benefit, but also introduce a $15/day daycare plan.

Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre dismissed both arguments, saying that “tangible benefits” are the most beneficial for parents and that they can use the money however they please.

-reprinted from AM980