Madam Speaker, our government was elected on a promise to strengthen the economy and to grow the middle class and those working hard to join it, and our plan is working.
More than 600,000 new jobs since 2015 and the lowest unemployment rate in the country in the past 10 years; that is why my colleague from Chilliwack—Hope is jealous. His government never achieved such good results in the past few years. We are proud that this plan is working. Companies, including small family businesses, have contributed immensely to this success.
As our economy grows, we are ensuring that the middle class enjoys the benefits of this growth. To that end, we have maintained low tax rates for middle-class Canadians, small businesses, and family businesses that support our communities.
First, we cut personal income tax rates for the middle class and increased them for the richest 1%. Then, we established the Canada child benefit, which allocates more money to those who need it most. Nine out of ten families receive more money now than they did with the Conservatives' benefits system. Thanks to this measure, child poverty has been reduced by 40% in Canada, at year end, compared to 2013.
In October, our government announced its intention to lower the small business tax rate to 10% on January 1, 2018, and 9% on January 1, 2019. We must ensure that these tax benefits help our companies to grow and create jobs. I think that is what we are seeing right now, since 600,000 new jobs have been created.
During the consultations that we held on tax planing using private corporations, our government heard from small business owners, professionals, and experts. We are committed to avoiding any unforseen consequences these measures may have in the future.
The government intends to advance measures to limit tax deferral opportunities related to passive investments on a go-forward basis. We will do this while providing business owners with more flexibility to build a cushion of savings for purposes related to their business, for example, to deal with personal circumstances, such as parental leave, sick days or retirement, as well as a possible downturn, or to finance a future expansion.
We will make sure that as we move forward to lower the small business tax rate, this lower rate will be effective in encouraging businesses to grow, buy new equipment and hire more workers, supporting the middle class and those working hard to join it.
As we continue to make smart and necessary investments in our people, our communities, and our economy, we will make sure that the success we create together is shared by reinvesting in Canada's middle class and in programs and services that all Canadians can benefit from.