Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for Sault Ste. Marie.
I am pleased to speak today in support of Bill C-4 regarding the implementation of budget 2013. Budget 2013 is full of good news and helpful measures for my community of Mississauga and, indeed, all Canadians.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the measures that are of great significance to my community, but before I do so, I believe it is important to note what is not in budget 2013. What is clearly missing from budget 2013 is new taxes. That is right; unlike Liberal budgets of the past and the dreams of the NDP, our government did not increase the tax burden on hard-working Canadians. In fact, our government has reduced the tax burden on working Canadians and job creators more than 150 times, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in more than 50 years.
Our government is delivering more than $60 billion in tax relief to job-creating businesses. The federal general corporate income tax rate was reduced from 21% to 15% and the corporate surtax that represented an additional 1.12% was eliminated for all corporations. The small business tax rate, which is so important to the thousands of small business owners and their employees in Mississauga, was reduced from 12% to 11% and the amount of income eligible for this lower rate was increased to $500,000.
In fact, our strong record of tax relief has meant annual savings for a typical family of four of over $3,200. We have achieved this by cutting the lowest personal income tax rate to 15%; increasing the amount that Canadians can earn without paying tax; introducing pension income splitting for seniors; reducing the GST from 7% to 5% and putting an estimated $1,000 back into the pockets of an average family; introducing and enhancing the working income tax benefit; introducing the tax-free savings account, which is the most important personal savings vehicle since the RRSP; and increasing the age credit and the pension income credit. Overall, we have removed over one million low-income Canadians from the tax rolls.
As a lawyer engaged in advising businesses, I unfortunately witnessed thousands of jobs leave Canada during the 1990s and early 2000s due to very high personal and business tax rates compared to those in most other industrialized nations. For years, businesses chose to create jobs elsewhere and individual entrepreneurs and people with high technology skills chose to live in the United States because the unreasonably high tax rates in Canada made it difficult for them to operate a viable business.
Today, the combined federal and provincial corporate tax rates in Canada compare very favourably with those in jurisdictions such as the states of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and California, places that we compete with every day for the creation of jobs. This is particularly the reason why our national unemployment rate is below that of the United States for the first time in 30 years and our job-creation record is the best in the G7. With our enviable fiscal situation, having the lowest net debt to GDP ratio in the G7, we are in a very good position to keep our taxes at low and reasonable levels while our counterparts in the United States and Europe will be forced to raise their taxes to reduce their deficits and debts.
When I first ran for office, people in my community said they did not believe that any politician would actually lower taxes. Our government, led by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, did exactly that, and they began reducing taxes immediately upon forming government in 2006. The Mississauga Board of Trade has told me it believes that our government's tax policies have helped its members' businesses survive the recession, recover, expand and hire new employees. These are some of the most important reasons that our economy is doing much better than our competitors in the United States and Europe and that Forbes magazine has declared that Canada is the best place in the world in which to do business. I am confident that our government's tax policies will help to ensure a bright economic future for all Canadians.
In addition to the good news about taxes, the Minister of Finance indicated in his budget speech that Canada remains on track to balance the budget in 2015-16. This is very good news indeed. In addition to holding the line on government growth, budget 2013 includes more savings in government spending, totalling $2 billion by 2015-16 through numerous common sense improvements, including reducing wasteful departmental spending, reducing travel costs through the use of technology, continuing to control public service compensation and eliminating tax loopholes that benefit a select few.
As I mentioned earlier, Canada is leading the G7 in net debt to GDP ratio, and at the recent G20 conference in Russia, the Prime Minister showed real international leadership in committing to further reduce Canada's net debt to GDP ratio to 25% and encouraged other G20 nations to follow Canada's lead and make the same government spending reductions necessary to reduce their debt ratios as well.
In today's very competitive global marketplace, it is important that our manufacturers continually upgrade their productive machinery and equipment to make use of the most efficient and up-to-date technology. Utilizing the latest processes improves the quality and marketability of their products, reduces their costs of production and makes them more energy efficient.
Our government understands these realities of modern business. That is why I was very pleased to see that in budget 2013, our government is providing an additional $1.4 billion in tax relief to job creators through a two-year extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for new machinery and equipment.
This is very good news, especially in light of the Prime Minister's announcement of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. Our manufacturers now have very good reason to want to invest in new plants and machinery as they ramp up to take full advantage of the unprecedented access to the more than 500 million European consumers that the CETA agreement will provide to Canadian producers.
The extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance could not have come at a better time. Our government understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. More Canadians are employed in small businesses of less than 10 employees than in any other size of business.
Many of my neighbours in Mississauga are new Canadians. They have come to Canada from every nation in the world with skills, drive and ambition, strong work ethics and a determination to succeed. However, most new Canadians do not find work in the ranks of large industrial corporations. More often than not, they start their own small businesses and create work for other Canadians.
That is why I am happy to note that budget 2013 will extend and expand the temporary hiring credit for small businesses. An estimated 560,000 employers will benefit from this measure, and it is expected to save small businesses about $225 million in 2013.
I have been told by many small business owners that this has helped them to expand, and with the signing of the CETA agreement, these entrepreneurs will be able to meet the new opportunities created by opening European markets to our goods and services.
Investments in public infrastructure create jobs, drive economic growth and provide a high quality of life for families in Mississauga and every community across Canada. Mississauga and Peel region have benefited greatly from investments made by our government since 2006 in transit, roads, water treatment, a new celebration square, improvements to community centres, libraries and pools, a new instructional centre for University of Toronto Mississauga and a new Mississauga campus of Sheridan College, among dozens of other projects.
Mississauga and other municipalities have been asking for long-term predictable infrastructure funding. Budget 2013 delivers this certainty for the next 10 years by providing more than $53 billion in predictable infrastructure funding.
This represents the largest and longest federal investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history, including a community improvement fund of $32.2 billion through gas tax fund payments and the GST rebate for municipalities to support community infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of life of Canadian families; a new building Canada fund of $14 billion to support major economic infrastructure projects; a renewed P3 Canada fund of $1.25 billion to build infrastructure projects faster through public private partnerships; and over $10 billion in investments in federal public infrastructure.
Canadians know that our Conservative government believes in keeping families strong. Budget 2013 contains several key measures to help Canadian families, including enhancing the adoption expense tax credit to better recognize the unique costs associated with adopting a child, and supporting palliative care services.
Canadian businesses succeed globally and are well poised to take advantage of the new opportunities created by unfettered access to the European market by continually innovating and commercializing new products and technologies. Our government is supporting them by improving support for Canada's aerospace industry by investing almost $1 billion in the strategic aerospace and defence initiative, which will benefit important Mississauga employers such as Pratt and Whitney Canada and Honeywell.
All of these measures and more will ensure the future economic prosperity and security and quality of life for the people of Mississauga and all Canadians. For these reasons, I am pleased to support Bill C-4 and encourage all hon. members to do likewise.