Nova Scotia Conservatives are promising to provide a tax credit to match registered education savings plan investments.
Campaigning in the Bedford area on Monday, Premier Rodney MacDonald outlined a proposal he says will give families a head start on the cost of post secondary education.
Under the program, parents would receive a non-refundable tax credit, to a maximum of $1,000, made in the first year of their child’s life.
The premier estimated that would mean up to $88 in actual tax savings for a family.
Asked how much difference that would make to the average family, MacDonald responded that it was “an affordable” promise, and put it in the context of a variety of tax credits now available in areas such as recreational expenses and home renovations.
“Every dollar makes a difference. When you’re out buying groceries or buying diapers for a young child, or investing in your home, or saving for a child’s education, every dollar counts,” he said.
The premier said his hope is that the program will help thousands of families start preparing for their children’s education.
As the province turns towards a more knowledge-based economy, he said a post-secondary education will provide many more opportunities for young people.
“As a government, we lowered 10 taxes and took the provincial tax off of home heating costs to help families make ends meet,” he said.
Energy Minister Barry Barnet attended the news conference in his riding, and argued that he believed the tax savings could allow some students to attend college who might otherwise not be able to afford the cost.
“Eighty-eight dollars is a lot of money to many people, and sometimes it makes the difference between whether somebody can or can’t go to a post-secondary education,” he said.