By Shai Williamson, Edward Bayley and Celia Grimbly
Finance Minister Joe Oliver released, as promised, a balanced federal budget on Tuesday with a surplus of $1.4-billion.
The Conservative government’s budget offers several tax breaks for families, funding for defence and public transit, and a lower tax rate for small businesses.
The budget estimates the total cost of family tax benefits for 2015 is $4.5-billion.
The budget is usually rolled out in February or March but with declining oil prices and a weak economy, Oliver delayed its release.
The average price of North American Crude was assumed to average $54 in 2015 and rise to $67 in 2016 and $75 in 2017.
Analysts told Humber News Oliver’s pledge to release a balanced budget later than expected is a political strategy and that the contents of the budget will structure Harper’s campaign for a fourth term.
Many of the promises tabled in the budget are backloaded, meaning much of the funding will not be distributed for a few years, after the election.
Humber News broke down highlights from the budget below.