Check Against Delivery
It gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today and speak at Third Reading on Bill C-59, Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1.
This Act will legislate key elements of Economic Action Plan 2015 which include measures to support jobs and growth, help communities prosper and ensure the security of Canadians.
The Act also includes the measures contained in Bill C-57, the Support for Families Act and Bill C-58, the Support for Veterans and Their Families Act.
Perhaps the most significant part of this Act is that it returns Canada to balanced budget and enshrines in law balanced budget legislation reflecting our Government’s responsible fiscal management policy that is creating jobs and putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
A balanced budget allows the Government of Canada to cut taxes further for Canadian families, individuals and businesses.
Mr. Speaker my riding of Mississauga-Streetsville has the second highest number of families with children living at home in all of Canada. That is why our Government’s Family Tax Cut and Benefits Plan really hits home in my community.
Our Government will increase the Universal Child Care Benefit for children 6 and under to $160 per month and extend the benefit for children aged 7-17 by $60 per month. This initiative puts thousands of dollars per year back into families’ pockets in my riding and allows parents to make their choices for their children on how that money will be spent.
It is important to note Mr. Speaker that the increase to the UCCB is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and that the new benefit will start to flow for families this July.
Further, our Government is instituting a family income splitting program that will allow a higher income spouse to, in effect, transfer $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, effective the 2014 tax year. Some families will save as much as $2,000 a year in total family tax paid – yet another example of how we are putting more money back into the pockets of hard working families.
Economic Action Plan 2015 also increases the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000 effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age 7, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged 7-16 and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians have taken advantage of the very popular Tax Free Savings Account. TFSAs are an excellent way for Canadians to save – tax free – and have that money available in the future for their personal needs. Many Canadians have maxed out the old $5,500 limit and many would contribute more if allowed. I am very pleased to report that Economic Action Plan 2015 raises the maximum contribution limit to $10,000 effective in 2015 and subsequent years.
Bill C-59 also reduces the minimum withdrawal factors for Registered Retirement Income Funds to permit seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement income needs.
The Bill also creates the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to assist seniors and disabled Canadians offset renovation costs to make their homes safer and more accessible, so they can live independently and remain in their homes.
Mississauga-Streetsville is home to many seniors who tell me they want to age gracefully in place, remain in their cherished home as long as possible and be able to make modifications to improve their living conditions. The Home Accessibility Tax Credit is welcome news in my community.
Mr. Speaker, Branch 139 of the Royal Canadian Legion in located in the Village of Streetsville. I am a member and visit the Legion regularly to support its initiatives.
I have met with veterans there and I was honoured to present World War II “V” pins to dozens of these brave Canadians.
That is why I am very pleased that Economic Action Plan 2015 ensures that veterans and their families receive the support they need by providing a new Retirement Income Security benefit to moderately and severely disabled veterans, expands access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance for disabled veterans and creates a new tax-free Family Caregiver Relief Benefit to recognize the very important role of caregivers.
This Government values and supports the brave women and men who have served in our Canadian Forces and will ensure that our veterans get the full support they need and deserve.
During pre-budget consultations and meetings that I held, I had the opportunity to meet with groups like ALS Canada, the MS Society and others about the Compassionate Care Benefit provided under the Employment Insurance system.
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-59 will extend Compassionate Care Benefits from the current six weeks of coverage to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members. This change will benefit thousands of families across Canada when they need the financial and emotional support the most.
This Bill also implements very important measures for supporting jobs and growth.
Our Government will reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019 – lowering taxes for job-creating small businesses and their owners by $2.7 billion between now and 2019-20.
This is very good news for members of the Streetsville Business Improvement Association and other companies operating in Mississauga-Streetsville. Predictable, lower taxes each and every year is an important signal to the small business community.
We are providing manufacturers with a 10-year accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage productivity-enhancing investments in machinery and equipment. And we are improving access to financing for Canadian small businesses through the Canada Small Business Financing Program.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to announce several investments in Mississauga through the Federal Economic Development Corporation of Southern Ontario. These strategic investments assist leading edge companies grow and expand, create new high wage jobs and contribute to research and innovation.
Bill C-59 also makes new and important investments to ensure the security of Canadians. Along with important new legislation designed to combat terrorism, Economic Action Plan 2015 provides more funds for security and intelligence services and agencies to ensure they have the resources for this ongoing battle against those who wish Canadians harm.
Mr. Speaker, Economic Action Plan 2015 has seen the budget deficit of $55.6 billion at the height of the worldwide economic recession reduced to a projected budget surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015-16. And this without cutting transfers to Provinces or people. In fact Mr. Speaker, our transfer to the Provinces is at an all-time high in the history of our nation.
Mr. Speaker, all Canadians should be thanked for their hard work and support of our Government returning Canada to balanced budgets.
A typical two-earner family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015 as a result of the actions taken by this Government since coming to office in 2006 and the overall tax burden is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
Canada has one of the best economic performances among G-7 countries and we have created more than 1.2 million net new jobs since the depths of the recession.
Mr. Speaker, although there is more to do, Canadians can be proud of the achievements of this Government, the economic and fiscal record and our plans for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
I ask all members of this House to support Bill C-59 so Canada may continue to be strong, proud and free.