SDSG MP Guy Lauzon writes: Eight Budgets and still going strong! Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stood in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm, Thursday, March 21 to deliver his eighth Budget. Very few Finance Ministers have delivered more consecutive budgets than the current Minister. I believe Minister Flaherty’s longevity as Finance Minister is due to his prudent pragmatic approach to Canada’s economy.
During my pre-budget consultations, I received overwhelming feedback that my constituents across SD & SG want to see a plan focused on job creation and economic growth, while returning to balanced budgets. I am happy to announce the budget is doing just that by connecting Canadians with available jobs, building on our unprecedented investments in infrastructure, and helping key job creators like manufacturers and businesses succeed. The Plan, which will see Canada return to balanced budgets in 2015, keeps federal taxes at their lowest level in 50 years.
We are taking action to create jobs by increasing skills and training support with the new Canada Job Grant which will help more Canadians get high-quality, well-paying jobs. Under the new Grant, Canadians will be able to qualify for up to $15,000 per person to get the skills and training for in-demand jobs. Even better, the Grant will directly connect employers looking for skilled workers with Canadians who want to fill those jobs.
Our Plan also helps businesses succeed by encouraging manufacturers to invest in new equipment, extending the “hiring credit” for small business, and by making strategic investments in world class research and innovation. Economic Action Plan 2013 also includes the largest federal investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history – $53 billion over 10 years. This investment will help build and repair roads, bridges, subways, rail, and much more in communities across Canada.
Our plan also provides more tax relief to Canadians by eliminating Consumer Tariffs on babies’ clothes, sporting goods and exercise equipment. In total, this will provide $76 million in tariff relief for Canadian consumers. Budget 2013 introduces a temporary First-Time Donor’s Tax Credit to encourage more Canadians, and those who have not donated recently, to give to charities. This incentive will expand the charitable sector’s donor base, and will provide $25 million in annual tax relief.
Economic Action Plan 2013 provides support to Veterans by enhancing the Funeral and Burial Program by simplifying the program for veterans’ estates, and, by more than doubling the current reimbursement rate from $3,600 to $7,376. Further, we are supporting our farmers by increasing and indexing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemptions to $800,000 from $750,000. We will be helping part- time farmers, by doubling the current deduction limit under restricted farm loss income tax rules from $8,750 to $17,500.
Economic Action Plan 2013 will support the communities of SD & SG through the Community Improvement Fund. This fund will provide municipalities with $32.2 billion over 10 years through Gas Tax Fund payments and under the incremental GST Rebate for municipalities, to provide stable and predictable funding to support community infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of life of Canadian families.
Since the depth of the recession, we have created over 950,000 net new jobs due to our Economic Action Plan. I am confident this budget will build on the strong economic foundation we laid, by creating jobs, growth and long- term prosperity for the families and communities of SD & SG.