Since its election in 2006, the 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. Because of Stephen Harper, a typical two-earner family of four is enjoying an extra $6,600 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.
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.
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