Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on the 2015 budget.
Our government is responding to the needs of my constituents. We are helping young families, seniors, veterans, and small business owners. We are putting more money into the pockets of residents, so they can raise their families and save for retirement.
Under our leadership, Canada has created more than 1.2 million new jobs since the recession, but we live in uncertain times and the global economy remains fragile. That is why economic action plan 2015 would continue our government's focus on creating more jobs and growing the economy in Surrey and across Canada.
Importantly, at the same time, this is a balanced budget. This means more tax cuts for Canadian families and individuals and less debt for future generations. It would ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support important social services, such as health care and education.
Economic action plan 2015 includes key measures to support Surrey families and the B.C. economy, including cutting taxes for small businesses. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to further reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. Due to measures taken since we formed government, we have reduced taxes for small businesses by almost 50%.
On tax-free savings accounts, economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for the 2015 taxation year. There are now 11 million Canadians who have opened accounts, and of those who contributed the maximum amount, 60% have incomes below $60,000.
On supporting job-creating businesses, economic action plan 2015 proposes to provide tax relief to the LNG industry and new funding for the forestry sector to help diversify their markets to emerging economies. These initiatives would help create jobs and economic growth for British Columbia.
On national security, we would ensure that our armed forces continue to have what they need to accomplish the dangerous tasks Canadians ask of them. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the National Defence budget by $11.8 billion over 10 years. We would now provide new funding to help counter violent extremism and terrorism.
In my riding of Fleetwood—Port Kells, there are more than 12,000 households with young children. In total, there are more than 25,000 children living in those homes. Economic action plan 2015 would benefit 100% of those families and children. It would do so by lowering taxes and increasing benefits.
We have recently introduced new tax relief and benefits to help make life more affordable for Canadian families, including increasing the universal child care benefit. For each child under the age of six, parents would receive a benefit of $160 per month, which is up from $100 per month. The universal child care benefit would be expanded to children age 6 through 17, allowing parents to receive a benefit of $60 per month, or $720 per year. There are 18,000 children in my riding who would be eligible for this benefit.
We are also introducing the family tax cut, which is a federal tax credit that would allow a higher income spouse to effectively transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, providing up to $2,000 in tax relief.
Since 2006, our government has introduced more than180 tax relief measures, which will provide tax relief and benefits of up to $6,600 dollars for a typical Canadian two-earner family of four in 2015.
There are also nearly 12,000 seniors in my riding. Our government recognizes that Canada's seniors have helped build and make our country great. That is why, since taking office, we have provided over $2.3 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners, including removing over 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls, introducing pension income splitting, doubling the pension income tax credit to $2,000, increasing the age credit amount by $2,000, and establishing the landmark tax-free savings account.
Budget 2015 builds on this impressive record of support for seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal requirement from registered retirement income funds, introducing the home accessibility tax credit to help with renovation costs so seniors can remain in their homes and, as I mentioned before, increasing the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention infrastructure. Canada has led the G7 in public investment growth over the last decade. Our government's unprecedented investments in infrastructure, the most significant in our country's history, have already yielded significant results for hard-working Canadians and their families, ensuring the resilience of our economy and creating jobs. These investments will ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come.
Budget 2015 adds to this record by continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the new building Canada plan, the largest, longest-running federal infrastructure commitment in our country's history. The budget also provides an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative public transit fund to promote public transit infrastructure investment in a manner that is affordable for taxpayers and efficient for commuters. The ability to invest this substantial amount in targeted infrastructure is a direct result of the government's responsible actions to return to a fiscal balance.
Already there has been unprecedented federal investment in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Surrey under this Conservative government, impacting nearly every aspect of the lives of hard-working families. Since taking office, we have invested billions of dollars into British Columbian communities. We are making a real difference in the everyday lives of Surrey residents. In total, our government has spent $1.5 billion on local projects since 2006. This includes the new RCMP headquarters in Green Timbers, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the new Surrey Library.
I have personally made over 50 announcements, totalling more than $40 million. All were in Surrey and most in Fleetwood—Port Kells. These investments are resulting in local jobs, local opportunities and local facilities for Surrey residents.
It is all about helping hard-working families, the unemployed, seniors and youth and it is also about improving our communities, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
While the opposition parties support high taxes and high debt that will threaten jobs and set working families back, our Conservative government can be trusted to manage Canada's economy and keep taxes low for the people of Surrey. The province of British Columbia will receive record-high transfer payments to support health care, education and social programs. Specifically, B.C. will receive $6.1 billion in federal transfers this year, a 34% increase from under the Liberals.
Our government is acting prudently and decisively to ensure that Canada's economy creates good jobs and sustains a high quality of life for Canadian families.
We are proud of our plan that is lowering taxes and providing benefits directly to families in Surrey for them to reinvest in the Canadian economy. It is a plan that I will be happy to take to the doorsteps of the people in my riding.
With economic action plan 2015, our government remains squarely focused on the number one priority of Canadians, with a forward-looking plan to create jobs and grow the economy in British Columbia and across Canada. It is a good budget for Canada, for British Columbia and for Surrey.