MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Canadians Mark Tax Freedom Day as
World Recognizes Canada’s Economic Strengths”
This week I would like to offer an alternative to the persistent doom-and-gloom stories related to the global economic recession. Times are certainly tough for many Canadians. Canada and the rest of the world have a great deal of recovery work ahead. However, there IS light at the end of the tunnel and news of opportunity and better days ahead.
The first positive note is that Tax Freedom Day arrived three days earlier this year!
If Canadians were required to pay all of their taxes up front, they would have to pay each and every dollar they earned to governments prior to Tax Freedom Day. This year, that day arrived on June 6th… 19 days earlier than it was under the previous Liberal Government. In fact the latest Tax Freedom Day in Canadian history was in 2000, when it fell on June 24th.
The total tax bill assessed by all levels of government (including taxes on income, property, sales, healthcare, social security and employment, among others) requires almost 43 percent of an average family’s annual income.
Our Conservative Government has cut personal income taxes for four years in a row, including a reduction in the lowest tax rate and increases in the amount that can be earned tax-free, the Basic Personal Amount.
We also cut the GST so that Canadians save on nearly every purchase they make, and we created the Child Tax Credit. Seniors tax savings include our $2,000 increase in the Age Credit, our introduction of pension income splitting and the doubling of the pension income credit.
In recent weeks, international economic experts have applauded such policies implemented by our Conservative Government:
The International Monetary Fund commended our Government’s fiscal stimulus plan as “large, timely, well-diversified and structured for maximum effectiveness" and noted it includes "steps to facilitate labour reallocation and protect the vulnerable."
The IMF also states, “Canada is better positioned than many countries to weather the crisis. It entered the crisis from a position of strength, reflecting a track record of strong policy management that has supported underlying macroeconomic and financial stability.”
World Bank President Robert Zoellick says, “Canada’s experience offers lessons to others, especially its strong financial and regulatory environment that is helping it manage the shocks of the downturn.”
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts, “Effectively, Canada will be one of the first to come out of the recession.”
The IMF says Canada’s economy will fare better than any other G-7 country during 2009 and it emphasizes that Canada’s total government deficit as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the lowest in the G-7. Canada’s debt as a percentage of GDP is also the lowest in the G-7.
Meanwhile, the hard work continues to stimulate the economy and get Canadians back to work. The benefits of our Economic Action Plan will be visibly apparent as a busy summer construction season gets underway.
In addition, our measures to improve access to financing are now fully operational. This includes the Business Credit Availability Program to provide direct support to small and medium-sized business. For more information on these and other stimulus measures, go to: www.actionplan.gc.ca.