Will the ‘Children’s Budget’ Include Kids With Disabilities?
This report argues that the so-called “children”s budget” that Ottawa is expected to bring down in the year 2000 may fail to address the needs of a large number of Canada”s children – the 458,000 children between the ages of 0 and 11 and the 304,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 with some form of disability. Because of their myriad and complex requirements, children with disabilities and their families typically are overlooked by the federal government. Moreover, their needs are primarily “provincial.” There are three kinds of supports that children with disabilities require: 1) technical aids and equipment, 2) specialized services, and 3) respite care for families to provide some relief from their caregiving responsibilities. The first step in any children’s agenda is to ensure that the existing network of services allows participation by children with disabilities. The next step is to ensure that families caring for children with disabilities receive financial assistance in recognition of their extra costs. This assistance can be provided through improvements to existing tax provisions: the medical expense tax credit, disability tax credit, infirm dependant credit, caregiver tax credit and child care expense deduction. At the very least, the information regarding these tax provisions should be simplified.
ISBN – 1-894159-78-0