Last week, our government introduced new tax-saving measures for Canadian families. These new measures already build on our record of delivering tax relief for Canadians. We've cut the GST, reduced income taxes, raised the personal exemption limit, introduced income-splitting for seniors and established numerous tax credits. That's a record I think we should take pride in, while recognizing that there's more to do.
In response to last Saturday's Brandon Sun editorial, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the reason why our government is moving forward with tax relief for families and enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit. I want every family to know that they, including single-parent homes, will be better off as a result of these measures once implemented.
Readers of the Brandon Sun know the importance of the issue of taxation. Some would say that the need to keep taxes down was the major issue in Brandon's recent mayoral campaign, and that the NDP's PST increase is the reason five members of Premier Greg Selinger's cabinet, including the finance minister, resigned earlier this week.
I am proud to be part of a team in Ottawa that is lowering your taxes while increasing equalization and health transfer payments to the provinces. This is in stark contrast with previous Liberal governments that drastically cut transfer payments.
I should also note that our previously implemented tax relief measures have already decreased the federal tax bill of an average two-earner family of four by $3,400 per year. Canada is one of the only countries in the developed world that is lowering taxes while remaining on track to balance its budget. All this while maintaining a AAA credit rating.
This week, I have heard from several families in southwestern Manitoba about how our proposed tax changes will positively impact their own budgets. Without breaking their confidence, I assure you that these families are not particularly wealthy, but come from average middle income households.
By increasing and expanding the monthly Universal Child Care Benefit payment from $100 a month to $160 a month for each child under the age of six, Canadian families will keep an additional $720 in their pocket per child each year.
The prime minister also announced that we are going to expand the Universal Child Care Benefit for families with children aged six through 17. As of Jan. 1, 2015, under the expanded program, parents will now receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged six through 17. This means that parents will receive funding of $720 per child that they never received before.
Currently, two families with the exact same household income can end up with drastically different tax bills at the end of the year depending on the difference between each spouse's salary. In my opinion, this just isn't fair. This is why we will implement the Family Tax Cut. The Family Tax Cut will shift the focus of taxation from individuals to the household by allowing spouses to transfer income between them when they file their tax returns in order to reduce their household's overall tax burden.
Married or single and regardless of the number of children you have, at least one of these new measures will leave you with more money in your pocket.
Larry N. Maguire, MP