Conservatives pledge help for adoptive parents

The Conservatives are promising new measures to help parents who adopt.

If elected, the Conservatives would introduce 15 weeks of Employment Insurance adoption leave benefits for those who adopt a child under the age of 18. The party says it also would increase the adoption expense tax credit to $20,000.

The credit would be refundable.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), the cost of the proposed EI measures would be between $12 million and $16 million a year, but it would have a marginal impact on the federal treasury because it would be paid for through employer and employee premiums.

Since the Adoption Expense Tax Credit amount can already be split between spouses and common-law partners, the PBO assumes the full amount of the credit is currently being claimed, so there “would be little impact to making the credit refundable.”

Ontario Conservative candidate David Sweet is making the announcement today in a Facebook live event, a day before the Conservatives are set to release their full platform in Vancouver.

The Conservatives say the maximum sum of tax savings a Canadian adoptive family is eligible for in 2020 is $2,482. They say that under their plan, the same family would receive $3,000, an increase of $518.

The tax credit would continue to be indexed.

The Liberals also have promised help for adoptive parents through a new 15-week leave that would give them the same benefits as those who have children through natural births. According to the Liberals, that would mean an extra $7,000 for the average family claiming the new adoptive leave.