Ottawa – The Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance) and Member of Parliament (Crowfoot) is pleased that Economic Action Plan 2015 will continue the Conservative government’s efforts to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Sorenson says, “It is a balanced budget, just as we promised, and it cuts taxes for hard-working individuals and families. It is a prudent and principled plan that will see Canadians more prosperous, more secure, and even more confident in our country’s place in the world. Canada’s fiscal house is in order. We have returned Canada to a balanced budget while maintaining the lowest federal tax burden on Canadians in over half a century.”
Supporting Jobs and Growth:
• Reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019–putting an estimated $2.7 billion back into the pockets of job-creating small businesses and their owners.
• Increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $1 million for owners of farm and fishing businesses.
• Continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the New Building Canada Plan.
• Providing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada in support of young entrepreneurs and supporting provinces and territories to facilitate the harmonization of apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
• Providing manufacturers with a 10-year accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage productivity-enhancing investment in machinery and equipment.
• Improving access to financing and expanding services for Canadian small businesses through the Canada Small Business Financing Program; the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.
Helping Families and Communities Prosper:
• Reducing the minimum withdrawal factors for Registered Retirement Income Funds to permit seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement income needs.
• Supporting seniors and persons with disabilities by introducing the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovation costs to make their homes safer and more accessible, so that they can live independently and remain in their homes.
• Increasing the Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for 2015 and subsequent years.
• Extending Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members.
• Enhancing access to post-secondary education by expanding the eligibility for Low- and Middle-Income Canada Student Grants to students in short-duration programs.
• Making the Canada Student Loans Program work for families by reducing the expected parental contribution under the needs assessment process.
• Ensuring veterans and their families receive the support they need by: providing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to moderately to severely disabled veterans; expanding access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance for disabled veterans; enhancing the Earnings Loss Benefit for disabled part-time Reserve Force veterans; creating a new tax-free Family Caregiver Relief Benefit to recognize caregivers; and increasing the level of individualized support to veterans.
Minister Sorenson concludes, “Alberta will receive a record-high level of $5.5B in federal transfers this year – an increase of $3.2B (or 145%) from under the old Liberal government, including nearly $4B through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $2.3B (or 142%) since 2006 and, over $1.5B through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of 155% from under the Liberals. We’re also protecting transfer support to provinces as health and social transfers continue to grow.”