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Quebec Will Send $500 To Millions Of Residents — Here's Everything You Need To Know

Who's eligible, when it goes out, if you have to claim it, and what people are saying about it.

Senior Editor
Quebec Premier François Legault holds the CAQ government's proposed 2022-2023 budget.

Quebec Premier François Legault holds the CAQ government's proposed 2022-2023 budget.

After promising to help Quebecers deal with a meteoric rise in inflation, the government announced it would send payments of $500 to millions of residents.

Finance Minister Eric Girard outlined the measure in a presentation of the CAQ's proposed budget to the National Assembly. On Facebook, Premier François Legault celebrated the payments as an example of his government's willingness and ability to give direct aid to Quebecers.

Opposition parties aren't so convinced.

Here is a breakdown of how the payments will work, who they will go to, and what politicians are saying about the measure.

Who's eligible?

Revenu Québec released the full details following the budget announcement. Actually, any adult who made less than $105,000 in 2021 will be getting a payment.

Those who made $100,000 or less will be getting $500.

Residents who made between $100,000 and $105,000 will be getting an amount equal to $500 minus 10% of their income over $100,000.

So, for example, someone who made $104,000 will receive $100, which is equivalent to $500, minus 10% of $4,000 (the amount of income over $100,000).

To be eligible, residents need to have been at least 18 years old on December 31, 2021, or, if they were under 18, the parent of a child living with them or a recognized emancipated minor.

They also need to have been living in Quebec as a citizen, permanent or temporary resident of Canada as of the same date. Temporary residents had to have had a permit and been in Canada for the previous 18 months.

People who were exempt from paying income tax in 2021 are not eligible for the payment.

How does it work — and do you need to claim it?

The payments will be made automatically through Revenu Québec once the agency processes residents' 2021 tax returns.

Eligible Quebecers who have already filed their return and got a notice of assessment should get their payments by the end of May, Revenu Québec says.

The tax filing deadline is May 2, 2022.

Residents do not have to claim the payment in their 2021 return.

Revenu Québec warns, however, that it can apply the money to cover an amount owed to the government.

Is there criticism?

Oh yeah.

Opposition parties were swift to criticize the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government for announcing this measure in an election year.

"What we have today is a purely electoral budget that does not meet the needs of Quebec families who are facing rising inflation," the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) said in a release following the budget presentation.

"The CAQ is showing us that its priority is not the well-being of Quebecers but to get re-elected. François Legault is looking no further than October 3," the 2022 provincial election day.

The PLQ called the budget short-sighted, arguing that it will do little to help Quebec households deal with inflation in the long term.

Québec solidaire and the Parti québécois made similar claims.

"Welcome to the launch of the CAQ's election campaign," Québec solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé said. "The truth is that François Legault is making it rain cheques in the hope of getting paid on October 3."

"With this budget, the CAQ shows once again that it has no medium or long-term vision to reduce the cost of living in a sustainable way for Quebecers," Parti québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said in a statement.

"It's all well and good to write a $500 cheque, but if we don't tackle the causes of the problem, we'll just be shovelling money forward and perpetuating the impoverishment of Quebecers."

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