The Conservatives promised to help parents save up to $88 per year towards their children’s education. But the value of the announcement was questioned by opposition parties.

Premier Rodney MacDonald announced yesterday his government would provide a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 to parents investing in an RESP for their children.

That works out to a maximum of about $88 per year. The total cost to the province would be $350,000 per year.


“When you’re… saving for a young child’s education, every dollar counts,” MacDonald said.

Energy Minister Barry Barnet went a step further, saying the $88 per year could be the difference between whether or not a child can attend university.

“And $88 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,” Barnet said.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil scoffed at that statement. He said the people who would benefit from the tax credit are primarily those who can afford to send their children to college or university.

“When it comes to accessing education, it’s not the children whose family has an extra thousand dollars to set away for an $88 tax credit that it will make a difference to them going or not going,” McNeil said.

The Liberal leader also said more assistance needs to be given to people who cannot afford post-secondary education.

The Canadian Federation of Students also criticized the plan, saying it would “do very little to curb student debt, improve access for low- and middle-income students, or address out-migration of Nova Scotia’s youth.”

Premier MacDonald said the tax credit is just one of several programs his government supports to ease tax burden on citizens.

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