Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to talk about Bill C-234, another Conservative attempt at introducing a boutique tax credit. We know that Conservatives were extremely popular for doing that back in the day because, of course, Conservatives like to give tax credits to the rich at the expense of everybody else, and that is exactly what Bill C-234 is about.
The proposed legislation being considered today would amend the Income Tax Act to provide a non-refundable tax credit at a rate of 15% for up to $5,000 in eligible expenses incurred by the taxpayer for home security measures. Qualifying home security measures would include expenses for the purchase, installation, maintenance and monitoring of a security system installed in one's home.
In responding to the proposal, I would first note that our government is committed to a tax system that is fair and works for the middle class. Second, I would note that this proposal in the bill falls quite short of aligning with this objective. The benefits of a tax credit for home security expenses are expected to be skewed toward higher-income households, which are more likely to have the means to pay for such expenses. By disproportionately benefiting high-income Canadians, this bill would undermine the goal of sustaining a fair tax system.
As hon. members are well aware, the personal income tax system raises revenues based on the ability of individuals to pay. In this context, tax credits and other kinds of tax relief are mainly meant to recognize and offset the effects of factors such as income, family composition, age and health status on a person's ability to pay tax. The Canadian income tax system generally does not, as is proposed in Bill C-234, recognize personal and discretionary expenses of other individuals. A tax credit for home security expenses would, therefore, be subsidized by all taxpayers, including those who choose not to incur those expenses, those who cannot afford it, as well as those who are not able to claim the credit at all, such as renters.
Rather than asking Canadians to subsidize the spending of Canadians who can afford a home security system, our government has undertaken in the last few years to eliminate poorly targeted, unfair and inefficient tax exemptions and has committed to undertaking another tax expenditure review to ensure this process continues. The government has cut taxes for middle-class Canadians, raised them for the wealthiest 1% and increased benefits for families and low-income workers.
Our government has also improved tax fairness by closing loopholes, eliminating measures that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and cracking down on tax evasion. We all need to pay our fair share, especially during a crisis. All Canadians deserve a fair and equitable tax system. The proposed tax credit for home security measures that would disproportionately benefit higher-income Canadians, which, as I indicated earlier, has always been a priority of the Conservative Party, would be at odds with the government's stance on these types of boutique tax measures.
Our government's approach has been to target support to the middle class and those working to be part of it. The government estimates that the annual federal cost of the proposed tax credit would be approximately $130 million. This aspect of the proposal should also be taken into consideration, especially at a time when the government is focused on helping Canadians through the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is also focused on tackling the work of recovery to create the conditions for new employment and new growth, now and in the years ahead.
As part of our COVID-19 economic response plan, we introduced the Canada emergency response benefit, which supported over eight million Canadians. Then, last August, the government transitioned the support to a suite of new temporary benefits: the Canada recovery benefit, the Canada recovery caregiving benefit and the Canada recovery sickness benefit. Each of these three latest programs will remain in place to deliver support to individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 through to the fall of 2021. Last year, in the early days of this pandemic, we also introduced a special goods and services tax credit top-up payment for individuals and families with low and modest incomes, as well as a special Canada child benefit top-up payment for families with children.
Our government is providing additional support to low- and middle-income families with young children in 2021 by providing up to $1,200 through the Canada child benefit for children under the age of six. We are also making payments in recognition of the extraordinary expenses faced by persons with disabilities and seniors. With budget 2021, the government has a renewed pledge to do whatever it takes to support Canadians right through to the end of this pandemic.
As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, we will continue to assess the needs for additional support where it is needed. This enormous responsibility must be central to our considerations when looking at new proposals. I would also like to add that tax changes should ideally be undertaken through the budget process, which enables the government to fully consider trade-offs, balance priorities and undertake new fiscal commitments only to the extent that they are affordable. At a time when we are making unprecedented fiscal commitments to support Canadians through the challenges posed by COVID-19, this has never been more important.
With this in mind, and taking into account the concerns we have with this bill, it would be very difficult to support Bill C-234. I would add that we have seen boutique tax credits like this before from the previous Conservative government. We have seen time and time again that the Conservative Party is interested in only helping the wealthy. They have absolutely no consideration for what the impacts of this bill would be.
As I asked in my speech, how do they think we are going to pay for the efforts that are proposed in this bill? We would pay for them from the general tax revenue, which is essentially going to be affected by this measure. That includes everybody in the lowest part of the spectrum and in the middle. This bill is asking low-income Canadians to subsidize a boutique tax credit for people who have home security systems in their house. Who has home security systems in their house? It is people who can afford them. Home security is not something that is a need or a requirement, especially not in a country like ours.