Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in the House and speak in favour of Bill C-43, also known as budget implementation act number 2.
Since 2006, our Conservative government's budgets have consistently delivered for Canadians by always putting their priorities first. Canadians have told us that they want a strong, stable economy and access to good, well-paying jobs.
Each budget has done exactly that. Since 2006, Canada has one of the best economic performances among all G8 countries, particularly during the recession and current recovery. During this period we have created more than one million net new jobs, the overwhelming majority of which are full time. We have accomplished this without introducing new taxes, in direct contrast to the policies that the opposition parties advocate. In fact, Canadian families pay about 10% less in personal income tax. Adding all the various tax reductions we have introduced since 2006, the average family of four pays $3,400 less in taxes each and every year.
Our strong economic performance has come without increasing the deficit. In fact, we have progressively been reducing the deficit and the size and cost of government. We are now in a position to balance the budget in 2015, as well as deliver a surplus.
Our budgets have achieved these goals without sacrificing the quality of federal services or investments. Various federal services have been streamlined over the years to provide the same, if not better, services to Canadians for lower costs. As well, our Conservative government has been carrying out the most ambitious infrastructure investment plan in our nation's history. In 2007, we introduced $33 billion in flexible and predictable infrastructure spending. Recently we committed another $70 billion over the next decade to continue investing in world-class infrastructure. These funds have supported dozens of important projects in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming, particularly municipal priority projects.
Therefore, consistent with the successes of our previous budgets, Canadians can be reassured that the 2014 budget will continue to be more of what they have come to expect from their government: responsible, targeted, accountable, and inclusive of the necessary changes to keep taxes low and our economy growing.
Although there are many components to the budget, I will focus on measures most relevant to the needs of my constituents in Nipissing—Timiskaming. One of the important measures is the small business job credit, which has recently been announced by our government. This credit would lower payroll taxes for small businesses by 15% over the next two years.
Overall, it is estimated that Canadian small businesses would save $550 million, thanks to this measure. For the many small businesses in my region, this would mean increased capacity to grow their business, as well as more money becoming available for investments, as opposed to paying employer payroll taxes.
Our government recognizes the fundamental importance of small businesses in fuelling the Canadian economy. ln my riding, small businesses employ thousands of people and are the backbone of our communities.
The introduction of this credit would further build upon our government's strong support of small businesses since 2006. We froze El premiums to provide certainty and flexibility for small businesses. We have cut red tape by eliminating more than 800,000 payroll deduction remittances to the CRA made every year by more than 50,000 small businesses. We reduced the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%.
We also increased the small business limit to $500,000 in taxable income, which had the effect of expanding the number of businesses that could take advantage of these benefits and save costs, costs that could be reinvested in growth and job creation.
The results are clear. A typical small business is now seeing savings of approximately $28,000. Since we took office, small businesses have seen their taxes reduced by 34%.
While we are discussing measures in the budget that would help small businesses, here is another measure in the bill that I would like to highlight, as chair of the clean-tech caucus in Parliament.
Bill C-43 would expand the eligibility for accelerated capital cost allowances for clean energy generation and conservation equipment. Let me quickly outline what capital costs are.
Capital cost allowance is a mechanism by which businesses can lower their taxable income by claiming the cost of depreciation of their equipment. Accelerated capital cost allowances simply allow companies to claim more of their costs. This measure is important because it incentivizes businesses to use cleaner technology and equipment. The health of our environment is very important to my constituents, and I know they will appreciate these measures.
The next measure I would like to highlight concerns families, particularly children. Our government believes that fitness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and a habit that should be encouraged, particularly in childhood. That is why we introduced the children's fitness credit in budget 2006, which provides non-refundable tax credits of up to $500 annually in fees for the registration of a child under the age of 16 in an eligible program of physical activity.
In October 2014, our Prime Minister announced that our government would double the children's fitness credit from $500 to $1,000 and make it refundable, which would increase benefits to low-income families claiming the credit.
The increase of this tax credit would greatly benefit families in Nipissing—Timiskaming, many of which have very active children. In our communities, it is commonplace for children to enrol in hockey, soccer, or baseball camps. The increase of this tax credit would make it affordable for families to get their children involved in all these physical activities. Ultimately, greater access to physical activity would improve the health of children in my riding, but also their social skills, as very often physical activities are team or group activities as well.
Since 2006, Canadian families have benefited from significant, broad-based tax cuts introduced by our government. For example, we have reduced the GST to 5% from 7%; increased the basic personal amount, the amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax; reduced the lowest personal income tax rate to 15% from 16%; and introduced the tax-free savings account, which has helped thousands of families save money.
These and other actions have given individuals and families the flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. This is why, as I mentioned earlier, Canadian families pay on average $3,400 less in taxes every year.
Bill C-43 includes an important measure that would assist law enforcement in locating missing persons. Many constituents have expressed concern over various disappearances of Canadians, particularly first nations Canadians.
I know many of my constituents will appreciate Bill C-43's amendment of the DNA Identification Act to create new indices in the national DNA data bank. This would contain DNA profiles from missing persons, from their relatives, and from human remains to assist law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners to find missing persons and identify human remains.
The bill also includes various changes to the income tax and excise acts and various other statutes; however I will leave those changes for my honourable colleagues to address.
At the outset of my speech, I articulated the intent and record of our government's previous budgets, and I stated that from Bill C-43 Canadians could expect a continued focus on keeping taxes low and improving the economy. From the main measures I highlighted, it is clear that as a result of the budget implementation act, families would save more money through an increase in the children's fitness tax credit. Also, business would benefit from reduced costs through the changes in payroll tax and capital cost allowances. These changes would help businesses invest more of their money in expanding their businesses and, as a result, create more jobs for Canadians.
Whereas our honourable opponents continue to propose various tax hikes and increased intervention into the lives of Canadians and businesses by government, we on this side of the House continue to focus on jobs and the economy in a responsible, pragmatic, and non-intrusive manner. We firmly believe that Canadian families and businesses, not Ottawa, know what is best for them and their interests.
We are, and have been since 2006, able to help remove obstacles, regulations, and unnecessary and restrictive taxes on Canadians and businesses.
I encourage all members of the House to support the pragmatic and necessary measures in Bill C-43 so that we may continue to grow Canada's economy for the benefit of all Canadians.