MacKay discusses high points in budget

Amanda Jess
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OTTAWA – Tax breaks, increased funding to the fishing industry, and preservation of transportation infrastructure are key components of the 2014 federal budget dropped by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty Tuesday. 

Search and rescue volunteers and adopting families are among those able to hold onto more of their own money, while the government provides funding to small craft harbours and ensures Atlantic ferries continue running.

“We’re acknowledging that Maritime way of life and giving people essentially more access to their own money,” Central Nova MP and Justice Minister Peter MacKay said about the $40 million marked for repair and maintenance work at small craft harbours across the country.

The Caribou to Wood Island, P.E.I. ferry will benefit from $58 million earmarked for inter-provincial transportation services.

The tax break for search and rescue volunteers is meant to help them pay for training and equipment, similar to measures announced in the 2011 budget for volunteer firefighters.

“That’s huge for our province. There’s so many people that give generously of their time, buy their own equipment.”

Flaherty expects spending of $279.2 billion with revenues of $276.3 billion, giving the budget a $2.9-billion deficit with a $3-billion contingency fund.

Government spending is down from $280.5 billion.

“It’s a very practical, pragmatic budget. No bells or whistles. It’s all about taking a steady-as-she-goes approach with hopes of ensuring we get to that balanced budget in 2015,” MacKay said.

Nova Scotia as a whole will see federal transfers of $3 billion, allowing for more money for health care and education.

Attention is paid to students and recent graduates in this year’s budget, with $55 million being put towards paid internships for fresh graduates, and enhancement to trade apprenticeships.

There’s also programs meant to help persons with disabilities find employment, as well as get older workers back into the workforce.

 

With files from the Canadian Press

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

Organizations: Canadian Press

Geographic location: Maritime, Wood Island, Nova Scotia

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