Madam Speaker, since we came to power, our government has been focused on improving tax fairness.
To that end, we took some of the steps the member spoke about. For example, there are the tax cuts for the middle class, along with a 1% tax increase on the wealthy. Furthermore, we overhauled the Canada child benefit to make it more progressive. Members will recall that under the former system, cheques were sent to families regardless of income, regardless of whether the families were millionaires. The Canada child benefit was not very progressive and it was also taxable in many cases. These are two examples in which our government tried to make our tax system fairer. It was a tremendous success considering that the Canada child benefit lifted 300,000 children out of poverty, as I mentioned.
Our government did not stop there, however. There is also the increase to TFSA contributions that the Conservatives brought in. The contribution limit essentially doubled, going from $5,500 to $11,000 per year. The American inventor of the concept had said that this would ultimately put the government in a fiscal straitjacket, and that this would prevent the government from carrying out its primary responsibility of providing services to Canadians. Members will recall that the Conservative finance minister at the time, Joe Oliver, said that it was a problem for Stephen Harper’s granddaughter to solve. This is one of the measures we reversed, just now giving the government the means to fulfill its ambitions.
There is also income splitting for families. The parliamentary budget officer said at the time that this would benefit the top 10%. We reversed that.
We went ahead with our proposal for greater tax fairness involving income sprinkling and passive investments. Right from the beginning, the NDP has been a bit on the fence about that. It has not come out strongly in favour of our proposal.
It is quite ironic to hear my colleague say that we are not doing enough about tax fairness when they ran on all sorts of wonderful progressive ideas based on a Stephen Harper austerity budget. It is quite ironic.