POLITICS
09/17/2019 11:44 EDT | Updated 09/17/2019 13:58 EDT

Tories Offer Families More Help With College, University Savings Plans

The Conservatives say they'll contribute 10 per cent more to RESPs if elected.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer makes an announcement in Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Tories say they'll boost federal contributions to college or university funds for Canadians if elected.

WINNIPEG — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he would help parents save up to send their children to college or university by increasing the amount of money the federal government contributes to the pot.

The Conservatives are proposing to increase Ottawa’s contribution to registered education savings plans (RESPs) from 20 per cent to 30 per cent for every dollar families add to the savings program, up to $2,500 per year.

The Conservatives say this would increase the maximum grant that families receive from the federal government from $500 to $750 per year.

“RESPs are the most effective way Canadian parents can save for their children’s education, with more and more working families investing in them every year,” Scheer said Tuesday during a campaign stop at a beauty school in Winnipeg.

“I know that a dollar is better spent by the person who earns it, than the politician who taxes it,” Scheer said. “I believe that it’s parents, not politicians, who know what’s best for their kids.”

The increase would come on top of the existing Canada Education Savings Grants, which is an additional grant that low- and middle-income families can apply for after they have set up an RESP for a child.

The proposed boost would mean that low-income Canadian families would receive a total of 50 per cent, or $250, on the on the first $500 they save.

Middle-income families would receive a total of 40 per cent, or $200, in federal grant money on that same amount.

The 2015 election campaign saw the Conservatives, under former prime minister Stephen Harper, also promise to increase the federal contributions to RESPs, but it was limited to the additional grants for low and middle-income families.

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