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Seven things you need to know about budget 2016

1) Ottawa is forecasting a budget deficit of $29.4-billion in 2016-17, with the cumulative shortfall totaling an estimated $113.2-billion by the end of the Liberals’ mandate in 2020-21.

2) Finance Minister Bill Morneau is backing away from the election pledge to return to surplus by the end of his government’s mandate.

3) The debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to peak at 32.5 per cent in 2016-17, before declining into the end of the mandate.

4) Ottawa sees its stimulus measures boosting GDP growth by 0.5 per cent in 2016-17, resulting in 43,000 additional jobs.

5) The government is proposing changes to the Employment Insurance program in a bid to boost oil-stricken regions. EI recipients in Alberta, Northern BC and Newfoundland, among other regions, will be eligible for as much as 70 weeks of benefits.

6) Income-splitting for families with children under the age of 18 is being eliminated, a move the government forecasts will save $4.38-billion by the end of 2017-18

7) Ottawa is earmarking $11.9-billion over the next five years for infrastructure spending in a plan focusing on public transit, water projects and social infrastructure.

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