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May 2, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board:

Parental Benefits Program Continues to Support Newfoundland and Labrador Families

Mr. Speaker, in 2008 this government announced a Parental Benefits Program consisting of the Progressive Family Growth Benefit and the Parental Support Benefit to help offset the high costs associated with the first year of parenting.

The program provides $1,000 for every child born or adopted in the province as well as an additional $100 each month for the first 12 months for the child.

I am happy to report that as of April 30, 2012 almost 12,000 applicants have availed of the program through approximately $26 million provided by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Parental Benefits Program is designed so that the benefits are not taxable and that any parent who gives birth or adopts a child can avail of the program regardless of employment status or income. I would encourage anyone who has recently had or adopted a child and has not already applied for the program to do so. The deadline for filing an application is three years after the baby is born, or in the case of adoption, three years after the child has been placed. Complete details can be found on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website under the Department of Finance.

Mr. Speaker, the Parental Benefits Program is just one example of this government’s efforts to put more money back into the hands of the residents of the province to spend on what they deem is important. Residents are saving in areas such as personal income taxes, home energy and insurance premiums. All told, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are currently spending approximately $500 million less in taxes and fees annually as compared to 2006.

Mr. Speaker, for too long the population of this province was in steady decline as residents left for opportunities elsewhere but we are finally beginning to see a reversal in that trend. A strong, healthy province is one in which families and children have an environment in which they can thrive. This government continues to work on creating such an environment.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

2012 05 02             2:15 p.m.

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