Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour and a privilege to rise in this House and speak to Canadians about the hard work the Minister of Finance is doing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
The motion says “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. That is why on October 19, 2015, after 10 years of cloudy skies, people in Canada voted for real change and let the sun shine in. Let me repeat that: let the sun shine in.
We have been clear right from the beginning that the economy needs to work for the middle class and those working hard to join it. This is a must. My parents immigrated to this country, because they knew that in this country, there were rules, and as long as one followed the rules and worked really hard, they could be successful. That is why we have had a clear focus to ensure that hope and hard work succeeds for Canadians all across this country.
First we introduced a middle-class tax cut, which continues to benefit nearly nine million Canadians. Then we introduced the Canada child benefit, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. Compared to the previous system, in which child benefits were not targeted and were given to millionaires, the CCB is an after-tax targeted benefit that is helping a lot of families, including in my riding of Brampton East, where almost $10 million has been given to Canadian families in need of additional assistance.
In the fall economic statement, the Minister of Finance announced the government's intention to accelerate the indexation of the CCB by two years, to July 2018. This simply means better support sooner to ensure that the CCB continues to play a vital role in helping low- and middle-income Canadian families with children.
This was announced less than a month ago, and I had the honour and privilege of hosting the Right Hon. Prime Minister in my riding. He met with families in my riding that had young children, who thanked him for the investments in families with the Canada child benefit. It was a great day.
Every time I get up in this House, I invite all members to my riding, especially the Speaker, because it is a wonderful place. We run basketball camps on Sundays. I want to see the Speaker there shooting some hoops with the people of Brampton East.
Moving right along, we also announced the government's historical agreement with the provinces to enhance the Canada pension plan. At maturity, it will increase the maximum retirement benefit by about 50%. In today's dollars, that represents an increase of nearly $7,000, to a maximum benefit of around $20,000. With the recent action by the Government of Quebec to enhance the Quebec pension plan in a similar fashion, Canadians from coast to coast to coast can now look forward to a safer, more dignified retirement.
Our government knows that those working hard to join the middle class can face financial barriers to joining or rejoining the workforce. That is why, as part of our agreement to enhance the Canada pension plan, we increased the working income tax benefit. Because the economy is growing, we are doing even more to help those working to join the middle class. In the fall economic statement, the government announced its intention to further enhance the WITB by an additional $500 million per year. This will provide even greater support for current recipients and will ensure that more workers can qualify.
In the fall economic statement, the government also announced its plan to reduce the small business tax rate. By doing this, the government will help small business grow and create jobs. The small business rate will be lowered to 10% just five weeks from now and to 9% a year from now, in 2019. This means up to $7,500 in federal corporate tax savings per year to help entrepreneurs and innovators do what they do best.
Small businesses are a key driver of our economy and a cornerstone of our communities across this country. As our plan works to grow the economy, small businesses see the benefits of that growth with lower taxes. As we lower taxes on small businesses, we are committed to ensuring that low taxes support businesses, business growth, and investment and do not give personal tax advantages to the wealthy over the middle class.
We inherited a system that encourages wealthy individuals to incorporate in order to pay less tax. This means someone making $300,000 can save about as much on tax as the average Canadian who earns $48,000. We are making changes to address tax advantages that only the richest individuals using high-priced accountants can take advantage of.
We have listened to small business owners, professionals, farmers, and fishers and will move forward in a way that protects small businesses, the middle class, and innovators and entrepreneurs.
There is more. Budget 2017 also laid out the government's plan to invest $81 billion over 11 years in public transit, and in green infrastructure, social infrastructure, and transportation infrastructure in support of trade in rural and northern communities—