Since our election in 2006, our Conservative Government has achieved something remarkable: the lowest overall federal tax burden in more than half a century.
Not since John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister has it been this low. We have cut taxes of every kind. We cut the GST to 5%. We increased the amount all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax. We have enhanced and expanded the Universal Child Care Benefit, and we have launched our new Family Tax Cut – or, as it is more commonly known, income splitting. In total, we have saved families and individuals $35 billion in taxes since taking office. A typical two-earner family of four is enjoying an extra $6,600 per year, in their pocket, resulting from lower taxes and increased benefits.
One of the reasons why balanced budgets matter, is because they give us the fiscal room to cut taxes even more for hard-working Canadians. That is exactly what Economic Action Plan 2015 does.
Fulfilling a longstanding Conservative commitment, Economic Action Plan 2015 is increasing the annual contribution limits of Tax-Free Savings Accounts to $10,000. TFSAs help Canadians save at every stage of life, whether for retirement, starting a business, or buying a car or home. By doubling TFSA limits, we are empowering Canadians to save even more for their own priorities. We hope more Canadians take advantage of TFSAs going forward.
Of the nearly 11 million individuals who had opened a TFSA at the end of 2013, close to 2.7 million of them were seniors. Enhancing TFSAs is not our only action for seniors. Economic Action Plan 2015 also introduces changes to the rules for withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) to make it easier for seniors to save more money in their golden years.
We’ve kept our promise to introduce a number of new initiatives that will help all families with children, from coast to coast to coast. Every single family with children up to age six will receive an enhanced UCCB payment, up to $1,920 per year. Also, new for families with children aged 6 to 17, our Government is delivering a payment of up to $720 per year. This direct support will continue to ensure that choice in child care is not laden in more bureaucracy, but left in the hands of the real experts – mom and dad.
Our Government has also delivered the new Family Tax Cut. Available for the 2014 taxation year, the Family Tax Cut makes life more affordable for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Canadian families. Under the new initiative, families with children under the age of 18 will be able to transfer up to $50,000 of income from the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse, thereby saving up to $2,000 a year in federal taxes.
Of course, seniors and families need more than tax relief. They need to know that the healthcare, education, and social programs they rely on will be there when they need it. The federal government helps support these important provincial programs through transfer payments and today those transfer payments are at historic highs. Canadians can rest assured that the programs they cherish have never been stronger – at the same time we are putting more money back into their pockets.
Our Conservative Government can be counted on to support families. It’s proven by our record of always putting Canadian families first.