Here comes the dental plan

The federal government is planning to announce relief measures aimed at helping low-income Canadians beat back inflation pains. 

What happened: The measures are expected to temporarily double the GST tax credit, top-up the Canada Housing Benefit by $500, and start the rollout of a dental care program.

  • This interim dental plan would send cheques to families earning under $90,000 to cover dental costs (up to $650 per child for those with incomes below $70,000). 
  • The NDP made a national dentalcare program a condition of their support for the Liberal government.

Why it matters: Inflation has hit hardest low-income Canadians who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on essentials like groceries and rent

  • But some critics argue that these measures will make inflation worse by stoking demand in the economy.

Zoom out: There's just not much evidence right now to suggest that benefits for lower-income families will push up inflation.

  • Recent numbers from the US, for example, show that the top 40% of income distribution accounts for 60% of consumer spending, and the bottom 40% for just 22%.