Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear for this House. Our government is always looking to examine further tax decreases and exemptions. That includes looking at things such as has been brought forward here today. On top of presenting Canadians with a balanced budget, this government can always be counted on to further reduce Canadians' tax burden. All consumers benefit if the general sales tax rate is kept as low as possible, by maintaining the comprehensive base for the tax and targeting tax relief more broadly than through specific product exemptions.
The GST applies to a very broad base, with only a limited and narrow set of exemptions. This includes prescription drugs, certain medical devices, basic groceries, residential rents, and health care services. Specific tax relief from the GST is provided for low and modest-income Canadians through the GST credit rather than excluding more items from the tax base. The GST credit provides up-front support to low and modest-income families and individuals to offset their sales tax burden, thereby ensuring that sales tax burdens are sensitive to differences in income and family type. In spite of the reduction in the rate of the GST to 5%, the GST credit has been maintained at existing levels. By putting more money in the pockets of Canadians, we are helping them to make ends meet and spend more on what matters to them.
I do find it a bit rich to think that the NDP is even advocating for any tax relief. It is the very same NDP that has voted against every tax decrease that we have introduced. Our government will continue with our low-tax plan for jobs, growth, and security. I hope that the opposition members will finally support our low-tax plan. They did not support the reduction to the GST, but now is their chance to support our low-tax plan for all Canadians. With their new-found zeal for tax relief for Canadians, I would hope that the New Democrats will take every opportunity to support the real tax relief we have been putting forward since we took government.