Finance Committee's Budget Recommendations Positive for Canadians with Diabetes
Toronto, ON – March 3, 2020 – JDRF Canada, the leading global funder of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, welcomes the release of the Standing Committee on Finance’s report and its recommendations to address the diabetes epidemic.
We particularly welcome its recommendation that the government support the development of a new national diabetes strategy (Diabetes 360⁰), as well as changes in the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) criteria that would allow for those requiring insulin therapy to automatically qualify.
The mandate of the Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) is to study and report on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of selected federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Finance and the Canada Revenue Agency, and to conduct pre-budget consultations. JDRF is calling on the government to adopt FINA’s recommendations in Budget 2020.
“It’s positive to see the committee acknowledging the enormous burden that diabetes imposes on individuals and on society,” said Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada. “Canadians with type 1 diabetes spend up to $15,000 annually in out of pocket costs managing their disease. Billions more are spent by taxpayers in managing the cost of complications. Access to the DTC would provide families some much-needed financial relief for individuals and a national strategy would help to tackle health care spending. We hope the Government will move quickly to adopt the Committee’s recommendations.”
FINA’s recommendation to make qualification for the DTC automatic for those who require life-sustaining therapy follows a similar recommendation by the Disability Advisory Committee last spring. It would address problems with the current eligibility criteria that have led to confusion and inequity and represent a significant barrier to access for Canadians with insulin-dependent diabetes and other chronic diseases. Access to the DTC continues to be a challenge some two years after the government reversed controversial changes that resulted in all adults with type 1 diabetes being denied the credit.
Other positive recommendations we welcome are making the DTC a refundable tax credit so those with low or no income can also benefit from it, as well as uncoupling the DTC and the Registered Disability Savings Plan to end the clawback on RDSP contributions. The government announced as part of Budget 2019 that it would end the clawback; however, changes to the Income Tax Act have yet to be enacted.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.
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