Mr. Chair, I thank the member for Chatham-Kent—Essex for his question and for his great service to his constituency.
Our government's top priority has always been to create jobs and growth. As a result of our actions, over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than at the end of the recession in June 2009. This represents one of the strongest job creation records in the G7 over this period. The majority of these net new jobs have been full-time positions in high wage, private sector industries.
When it comes to jobs, our government understands that small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy. They account for 99% of all businesses in Canada and employ half of the working men and women in the Canadian private sector.
Our government believes that small businesses should spend their time growing their businesses, creating jobs and hiring Canadians, not choking on high taxes and red tape. That is why we have repeatedly cut taxes significantly for small businesses and their owners.
Building on our record, budget 2015 proposes to reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019, the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in more than 25 years. When the proposed reduction in the small business tax rate takes effect in 2019, combined with previous actions taken by our government, the amount of federal corporate income tax paid by a small business with $500,000 of taxable income would be 46% lower than in 2006. This means an annual tax reduction of up to $38,600. That money could be reinvested in the business to create new jobs for Canadians. These changes, among others, would help enhance the ability of small businesses across Canada to retain their earnings, to grow their businesses and create jobs.
However, we are also building on our efforts to connect Canadians with the areas that need help. Increasingly, a number of jobs are going unfilled due to a lack of people with the matching skills. That is why we have enhanced labour market information for Canadians, which would efficiently help match Canadian workers with available jobs, reforming the skills training program and encouraging journey persons to start or expand their own business.
These are but a few of the ways we are creating new jobs and filling demands that the private sector is yearning for.
Furthermore, economic action plan 2015 would bring tax relief to manufacturers. We believe that manufacturing will continue to play a major role in Canada's economic success. For our government, the words “made in Canada” continue to fuel pride, not to mention jobs.
That said, we must give manufacturers the tools they need to create the products and the jobs of the future. That is why we are announcing a 10-year tax incentive to encourage investment in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing. When Canadian companies invest in state-of-the-art equipment and structures, they increase their productivity and competitiveness.
I see that my time is nearly up. I could continue for hours on why job creation is our government's main focus. However, as long as there are middle-class Canadians looking for work, our job is not yet done.
Economic action plan 2015 is the next part of our long-term plan to ensure we get Canadians back to work and continue Canada's economic growth and prosperity.