Mr. Speaker, it is a great opportunity and pleasure to respond today to the hon. member's motion, but before I do, I would like to indicate that I will be sharing my time with the member for Don Valley West.
I would encourage all Canadians to pay very close attention to today's debate, because Canadians know when they are being sold a bill of goods, like today's NDP motion. I am reminded of the snake-oil salesman who used to walk into town and set up shop, telling people to drink it and it would cure them of whatever ailed them.
They can put wings on a horse, but it is not going to be an eagle. While the New Democrats are scrambling to show Canadians that they are moving toward our policies in a kind of deathbed conversion, it is very clear that our proposals for small business are much better thought out.
First, I would like to elaborate on our government's strong record of standing up for small business. Following that, I will highlight the NDP's tax and spend plan that would increase our debt and force every Canadian to pay more tax.
Canadians are well aware that this Conservative government successfully navigated Canada through the great recession. Our success is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.
Hon. members want to talk about job creation. We on this side are very proud to talk about job creation. Perhaps they on the other side would be interested to learn that we have created nearly 1.2 million net new jobs since the end of the recession. Of those 1.2 million net new jobs, the overwhelming majority are full-time, high paying, private sector jobs. To be clear, since the depth of the recession, full-time jobs account for a whopping 90% of all jobs created in Canada. That is a record that hard-working Canadians and I have every reason to take pride in.
Canada is now enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in six years. In addition, since we were elected in 2006, this government has had the strongest job-creation record of the entire G7, with the creation of over 1.6 million new jobs. Our record speaks for itself, and we are continuing to take action.
Our small business job credit is just the latest in a range of measures that will cut costs and support small businesses. It will effectively lower small businesses' EI premiums from the current rate of $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015 and 2016. Ninety per cent of EI premium-paying businesses, nearly 800,000 of them, will directly benefit from this credit. In keeping with our efforts to minimize the paper burden and cut red tape for small business, this credit will require no new paperwork. The Canada Revenue Agency will automatically calculate it on the businesses' returns. Overall, our small-business job credit will cut EI payroll taxes by nearly 15%. We expect it to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years. These are savings that will create jobs and growth.
The hon. members need not to take my word for it. They can hear it from the people who know it best, small business people themselves. Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, has concluded:
...the credit will make it a bit easier for small employers to hire that extra worker, increase employee wages or help pay for workplace training. Across Canada, we estimate the $550 million left in the hands of small businesses will lead to 25,000 person years of employment in the next few years.
Clearly, small business owners and their representatives know that our efforts to reduce their costs are making a real difference in creating jobs.
Small businesses employ half of the working men and women in Canada's private sector. They account for nearly one-third of our country's GDP. Small businesses drive our prosperity and give back to our community. Our government's actions are helping them succeed each and every day. We have cut their taxes.
We cut the small business tax rate to 11% and increased the amount of income eligible for this lower rate. Together, these changes are providing small businesses with an estimated $2.2 billion in tax relief in 2014 alone. Under our government, the amount of income tax paid by a small business with half a million dollars of taxable income has declined by over 34%, a tax savings of over $28,000 that can be reinvested in the business to create jobs. However, the NDP voted against every single one of our tax cuts for small business.
I would now like to take this opportunity to discuss the NDP plan. I will highlight most of its plan, except for one important part. I will not explain how the NDP plans to tell Canadians that it is okay to blow $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars on bogus satellite offices. I will leave that to the NDP members. However, I would like to respectfully remind the NDP that Dan Kelly from the CFIB called aspects of the NDP plan for small business “dumb” and “anti-small business”.
I cannot help but also notice that one of the elements in today's motion for debate bears more than a passing resemblance to our decision to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance. However, here is the real kicker: the NDP voted against the accelerated cost allowance in the first place. If that were not enough, the NDP has promised to increase taxes on small businesses and all other Canadians. That includes a $20 billion carbon tax that would raise the price of everything, from gas to groceries. It includes doubling CPP payroll taxes, forcing Canadian workers and employers to pay more.
It was Shaun Fantauzzo from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies who said that higher mandatory CPP payroll taxes would “...prevent...[small] businesses from hiring new workers, as well as force them to economize by either reducing hours or laying off existing employees”.
NDP members even pledged to reverse our family tax cuts and benefits. They would take that money from families and give it to Ottawa bureaucrats, because the bureaucrats know how best to spend it. Well, our plan helps 100% of the families with kids. The NDP plan would only help 10% of families.
Our Conservative government knows that moms and dads are best suited to make the crucial decisions affecting their children, but the NDP believes that Ottawa bureaucrats should be making parental decisions instead of mom and dad.
The NDP's spendthrift ways would also increase the deficit and increase the debt. It would burden our children and grandchildren with higher debt to pay for the NDP's expenditures today.
In conclusion, we will take no lessons from the NDP, who really have none to share.
In 2011, Canadians elected our government with clear instructions: navigate the global economy, create jobs and economic growth, and keep taxes low. I am pleased to tell the House that this is exactly what our government has delivered. Promise made, promise kept. We created a low-tax environment on the understanding that lower taxes and payroll costs support jobs and growth. We have proven with our actions that this empowers Canadian entrepreneurs, leaving more of their hard-earned money in their own hands for them to invest in their own businesses to support jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.
I would encourage hon. members to take this record into account in considering today's motion for debate and reject its empty rhetoric in favour of the real results of our government. Our Conservative government will continue to deliver on what matters most to Canadians, and that is jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity, and support for small businesses.