Sandwich generation issues at the forefront

Overall, the NDP’s caregiver-related proposals stand out as the most comprehensive, while the Conservative platform is the most limited in this area. Still, Eng says she would be happy to see any of the parties’ proposals adopted.

“This is all great stuff,” Eng says. “If any of them come into fruition, it’s going to be a net increase on the status quo.”

Making education more affordable

To help sandwich generation parents with the costs of putting their children through school, the parties all address education expenses in some way.

The most ambitious proposal is the Liberals’ Canadian Learning Passport proposal. This would provide $1,000 to $1,500 a year over four years for every high school student with a Canada Education Savings Plan, to use for college, university or CÉGEP.

Student groups say the plan is promising, but fails to address skyrocketing tuition rates.

“The proposed ‘Learning Passport’ would be a substantial investment in students and their families,” says David Molenhuis, national chairperson of the Ottawa-based Canadian Federation of Students. But, he adds, “Financial aid is only half the equation.”

The NDP aims to tackle tuition fees directly, with a designated $800 million transfer to the provinces and territories to lower tuition fees. In addition, the party would raise the education tax credit from $4,800 to $5,760 per year to help families with rising education costs.

The Conservatives have little to offer in this area, aside from a small expansion of loans for part-time students and an expansion of the in-study exemption for students working while receiving loans.

“If we are to take the issue of education seriously, we need to be prepared to make more targeted and aggressive investments in the sector,” says Zach Dayler, national director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

© Investment Executive

Keywords: caregivers, tax credits, caregiver tax-refund