Here are the most important facts about the Tax Free Savings Account.
Introduction of the Tax Free Savings Account: January 1, 2009, right at the height of the economic meltdown
What's new: Stephen Harper promises to double the contribution limits to the Tax Free Savings Account, from $5,000 a year to $10,000.
After-tax income of Canadian individuals in 2008: $31,400
Median after-tax income of Canadian individuals in 2008: $25,400
Drop in number of full-time jobs in the recession, from peak to trough: 465,000 ( in seasonally adjusted terms)
Proportion of Canadian households that saved in 2009: 57% (43% did not) (Source: Statistics Canada, custom data ordered by CCPA, to be released soon)
Cost of TFSA to public treasury, as estimated by Budget 2008: $920 million over first five years of implementation, $3 billion a year upon full operationalization
Number of accounts by end of 2010: 4.8 million
Eligible population (18+): estimated to be approx 26 million
Proportion of Canadians who took advantage: 18% (would be a lower share of all Canadian households, since some families will have several members with accounts)
Canadians’ Number One Concern: Healthcare
Canadians’ Second Concern: Jobs