FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation welcomes the refundable provincial Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) credit announced by Finance Minister Roger Melanson in the 2016-17 provincial budget.

The credit is designed to protect low-to-middle income households following the increase of two percentage points of the provincial portion of the HST, effective July 1.

“This is good news for New Brunswick families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Monique Richard, chair of the corporation’s board of directors. “Any initiative brought forward to help New Brunswickers who are less fortunate is a step in the right direction, and we applaud the government for helping lessen the impact of the HST increase.”

The size of the credit will depend upon the number of people in a family and how much money they make. It will be paid along with the federal Goods and Service Tax (GST) on a quarterly basis either by direct deposit or cheque. To receive these credits, individuals must file their annual income tax return.

The corporation reminds New Brunswickers of the importance of filing their income tax returns every year. Besides the new provincial HST credit and the federal GST credit, filing income tax returns also gives qualifying individual and families access to such programs as New Brunswick Healthy Smiles, Clear Vision program for children of low-income families, New Brunswick and Canada Child Tax Benefits, Canada Learning Bond’s free money for low-income children’s post-secondary education and the New Brunswick School Supplement.

Free help in the preparation of income tax returns will soon be available through Get Your Piece of the Money Pie, New Brunswick’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program for eligible taxpayers who have a modest income and simple tax situations. For more information, contact the program at 1-800-959-8281.

The Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is a Crown corporation that co-ordinates and supports the implementation of the Overcoming Poverty Together plan. The corporation’s board of directors is made up of members representing persons who experienced or are living in poverty, non-profit organizations, the business sector and the government.