Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to speak to the opposition day motion. Contrary to what the hon. member who brought this motion forward may claim in the House of Commons, our Conservative government has an outstanding record on job creation and economic growth.
Canadians elected our government with clear instructions in 2011: 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 done. Promise made; promise kept. Since we have been elected, we have had the strongest economic growth of any country in the G7. We have created over 1.2 million net new jobs, 82% of which are full-time, and 84% of those have been in the private sector and 66% have been in high-wage industries. That is an outstanding record, and we are going to continue on that track.
Bloomberg ranks Canada as the second best country in the world in which to do business. The IMF and the OECD both project that Canada will be among those with the strongest growth in the G7 for years ahead.
This success, of course, does not come easily. Canada has faced challenging times and continues to face a very fragile global economy, but we have made the right decisions for Canadian businesses, families, and communities. The results of those decisions are clear: debt is low and deficits are falling. We have half the debt, on average, in relation to our GDP, of the G7 countries. We are on track to balance the federal budget in 2015.
We promised Canadians that we would return to a balanced budget, because it is important for Canadians, and it is important for our economy. It means more funding will be available for important programs and services Canadians rely on and it means not paying more interest on debt. It will protect our credit standing, and it will protect Canadians from international shocks, just as we are doing right now. It is fair to our children and our grandchildren by not burdening them with debt to pay for our expenditures.
It is unfortunate the the Liberal leader does not understand these basic financial principles. When he was asked about balancing the multibillion federal budget, his response was that somehow it would magically balance itself. While the Liberal leader may have never had to balance his own budgets, ordinary families know what it takes, and so does this government. It takes discipline. It takes a focus on priorities, and it takes sound judgment.
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives noted how important it is to balance the budget. It said: “Balancing the federal budget and maintaining discipline to pay down the debt are not only the right things to do, they are essential for Canada's global competitiveness”.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business stated: “Small business owners know that today's deficits are tomorrow's taxes, so they are pleased that the government's commitment to a balanced budget in 2015 remains solid”.
Not only are we on track to a balanced budget, but we have done it while keeping taxes low. Year after year we have lowered taxes, not just for businesses but for families and all Canadians. We have cut taxes in every way government can collect them: personal, consumption, business, excise taxes, and more.
We have reduced the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%. We introduced pension income splitting and cut the GST from 7% to 5%. We established the landmark tax-free savings account, and over 10 million Canadians have opened accounts allowing them to save tax free. We also increased the amount Canadians can earn tax free.
Our government took action to remove over $1 million low-income Canadians, including approximately 380,000 seniors, from the tax rolls completely. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, the federal tax burden is now at its lowest in over 50 years. Our low-tax plan has helped to ensure that Canadian families in all income groups have experienced increases of about 10% in their take-home pay. The lowest income families have seen a 14% increase.
Tax freedom day is over two weeks earlier under our government than it was under the tax-and-spend Liberals.
Statistics Canada has also confirmed that families are better off today under our Conservative government than they were under previous Liberal governments. Stats Canada found that the median net worth of Canadian families has increased by 45% since we took office.
Building on our strong record, recently we introduced the family tax cut and benefits package that will help each and every Canadian family with children in our country. These families will benefit by an average of $1,100 a year, and the majority of benefits will flow to low- and middle-income families. We are pleased to be delivering those benefits, because we know that it is not the government's money. That money belongs to hard-working Canadian families, like many in my riding.
With the enhancement of the universal child care benefit, moms and dads in Yukon and across this country will receive nearly $2,000 for every child under the age of six and an additional $720 a year for every child between the ages of six and seventeen.
Yukon's premier, Darrell Pasloski, stated that the Yukon government applauds initiatives that allow families to keep more money in their pockets, which is good for its economy. The creation of the family tax cut credit and enhancements to the universal child care benefit and caregiver deductions will directly benefit Yukon families.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation also applauded our new tax measures for families. CTF federal director Aaron Wudrick stated, “Putting more money back in the pockets of Canadian families is a positive development”. How could it not be?
We will honour our promise to Canadian families by putting more money back in their pockets, but both the NDP and the Liberal Party would do the exact opposite. Instead, they want to cancel those tax breaks and benefits and drive our economy into a deficit with their massive bureaucratic spending schemes. Picking the pockets of hard-working Canadians to put more money in the hands of Ottawa bureaucrats and piling debt onto our children is their plan. We will not take that well-trod path to economic decline.
I would like to highlight that as the finance minister has stated, our government will provide an economic update. That will be when we present the federal budget. Though the opposition may panic and call for risky deficit spending, we know that we have to continue to stay the course with our low tax plan, the same plan that successfully steered Canada through the great recession.
Economic shocks that take place outside of our broad borders affect Canada. We live in an increasingly dangerous and volatile world, and Canadians can be proud that under the strong leadership of our Prime Minister, this government will keep Canada's economy strong.