moved for leave to introduce Bill C-317, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (assistance for repayment of student loans).
Madam Speaker, today I rise in my place to table a bill that proposes a new way that we can help support students who are struggling with student debt. My bill proposes to amend the Income Tax Act so that employers can voluntarily enter into an arrangement in which part of the employee's remuneration would go toward student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit.
Currently, if an employer wanted to help employees pay off their apprenticeship or student loan, that help would be taxed as regular income. That does not provide the needed and necessary help to students struggling with student debt. Student loan balances are often listed by young adults as a major reason for suffering from economic anxiety.
Allowing employers and employees to voluntarily enter into an agreement in which part of the employee's remuneration would go toward apprenticeship loan or student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit would help young people pay down debt and start saving for the future by encouraging good financial management habits.
I want to thank all of my constituents, particularly those young students who shared with me the pressure they are under, and I am hopeful that all members of this place will help support this initiative.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)