De Jong commits to make post secondary more affordable

VICTORIA – Post secondary education and training will be more affordable for parents, guardians, and the next generation with BC Liberal Leadership candidate Mike de Jong’s commitment to provide an additional $500 in education savings per year for eligible children.

A BC Liberal government led by de Jong would expand the program he previously introduced, to invest an additional $500 every year in the Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) of eligible children until they turn 18. This additional investment along with interest generated would mean students could start their post-secondary training or education with a minimum of $7,000 in their RESP.

“This boost to the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant is an investment in the next generation and in our province,” de Jong said. “An education unlocks unimagined possibilities for individuals and it helps build a more prosperous province.”

Like the existing BCTESG program, the grant would be available to all eligible families regardless of income – there is no need to make additional contributions to receive the grant. All a family needs to do is to open an RESP account and apply for the grant.

The B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant program was introduced by de Jong as Finance Minister and has made $1,200 available for an RESP for every child born after Jan. 1, 2006.

The $500 grant amount would be reviewed with every budget to keep pace with increases in post-secondary tuition fees.

“We don’t manage our economy and budgeting well for its own sake – we do it so we have the ability to invest in programs that make life better for people,” de Jong said. “The NDP’s reckless approach to our economy is risking our province’s ability to make investments like this. That’s why I’ll continue holding them accountable every day.”

The BC Liberal party will hold a leadership convention to announce the new leader on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018.

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Backgrounder

 

Power of additional contributions:

  • Combining provincial and federal grants with savings of just $10 per month could mean a child born in 2014 could have more than $11,200 when she starts post-secondary school.
  • A family that saves just $50 per month could see a total of more than $18,300 saved. 

Costs of program expansion:

  • If the program launches with Budget 2020, it would cost an estimated $102 million to make this funding available to the almost 350,000 eligible children in B.C. 
  • The annual amount would likely grow to about $165 million annually to support all children aged 7 to 17.

 

Who is eligible for current BC Training and Education Savings Grant:

  • The child was born in 2006 or later.
  • You and the child must be residents of British Columbia.
  • The child is the beneficiary of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) with a participating financial institution.
  • Applications period is when child turns six and before their ninth birthday.
  • More info: www.gov.bc.ca/bctesg