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Liberals' GST rebate boost bill passes House with all-party support, off to Senate

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One of the Liberals' two affordability-focused pieces of legislation passed the House of Commons on Thursday, with all-party support. It is now off to the Senate for further consideration.

Bill C-30, which seeks to implement the promised temporary doubling of the GST credit for Canadians with low-to-modest incomes, was tabled by the federal government the first day of the fall sitting on Sept. 19.

According to the government, boosting the credit would mean eligible single Canadians without children would receive up to an extra $234; a couple with two kids would receive up to an extra $467; and seniors, on average, would receive an extra $225.

While the Conservatives decided to join other opposition parties in supporting the legislation—what the Liberals are calling "targeted tax relief"—calls continue from across the aisle for the government to further step up to address Canadians' cost of living concerns.

The government says approximately 11 million individuals and families would receive a boost through the GST rebate hike, which is set to administer $2.5 billion in additional funding to current recipients within weeks of the bill becoming law.

MPs expedited the legislation through second reading last week and the House of Commons Finance Committee held one meeting on the bill on Monday. There, MPs heard testimony from Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, as well as officials from the Parliamentary Budget Officer's office, before wrapping up their review. 

After the committee sent the six-page bill back to the House without any changes, it moved through report stage on Tuesday thanks to an all-party agreement to fast-track the legislation. It completed the third reading stage on Thursday, passing unanimously.

Freeland is set to address the Senate about Bill C-30 on Thursday evening. She has previously called for the Senate’s work to be completed "as quickly as possible" so the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can send out the payments to those eligible before the end of the year. 

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