Canadian high school students recently shared their views on federal government finances and where they feel changes should be made.
Nearly 5,000 teenagers from hundreds of classes took part in this year’s consultation. They were tasked with learning about the federal government’s budget, exploring national issues and comparing the views of the federal party representatives, before providing their own views.
Results were then shared with the Department of Finance. Some highlights include:
- 81 percent of students believe that the federal government should place a high priority on reducing the debt, with nearly half of all students believing debt reduction should be first priority overall.
- When asked about spending increases, half of students said they want to see budget increases for post-secondary education transfers. Prisons and increased criminal sentences (31 percent) and Arts and Culture (32 percent) had the most support for spending reductions.
- 51 percent of students also expressed concern over youth unemployment. When asked about ways to address the issue, 32 percent said the answer lies in merely increasing awareness of where the jobs are, while 23 percent support investments in education and training. Despite these perceptions, students are very or somewhat confident (79 percent) in their ability to find jobs that appeal to them after they graduate from college. Unsurprisingly, about 30 percent said that the biggest obstacle in starting their careers is the cost of post-secondary education.
- Nearly 30 percent of the students said their parents had financial difficulties raising children. What would be most helpful for their families? Lower taxes (27 percent) and subsidizing post-secondary education (26 percent). Nearly three quarters support the children’s fitness tax credit – and the idea of expanding it to adults as well.
“It’s wonderful to see young Canadians with such financial acumen,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Early mindfulness of potential setbacks is an invaluable tool for managing personal finances later in life.”
If you’re a student looking for ways to balance your own budget, or are an individual looking to lower your taxes, Consolidated Credit has tools that can help. We are also here to help you get your finances in order. If you want a free debt analysis, call a trained counsellor at 1-888-294-3130.