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23 April 2015
Thank you very much.
First of all I want to thank Lawrence for that warm introduction.
Lawrence was a small businessman before he joined our caucus, so he helps bring a perspective and we’re obviously here today to talk precisely about the world that Lawrence came from.
But he’s been a great addition; everybody give him one more big hand for being our kickoff today.
Thank you to Candice and all of my colleagues from Parliament for attending.
I’d especially like to thank Rick and Tessa Mostert for allowing us to use their facilities here at F.C. WoodWorks.
I always love the smell of a woodworking place, it’s great, it’s wonderful.
A successful business for over a quarter century, so congratulations for what you do.
And, maybe, ladies and gentlemen, just before I get into what I have to say here today, I just want to make a comment on the events of last night.
Lawrence and I enjoyed the game.
Look, I know there’s a lot of Jets fans obviously disappointed with the outcome of the game and the series, but I actually think when you step back, take a look at it, the Winnipeg Jets should feel very good about the season.
A really historic season getting in the playoffs for the first time since their return.
I think it’s an up and coming team.
The fans last night, the experience, Winnipeggers, Manitobans were just on fire.
So, look, I think a big hand for the Jets for a successful season, and good luck for next year.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I want to pick up where Candice left off, just two days ago my friend and colleague, Joe Oliver, delivered his first budget.
As you have heard, it was a balanced budget.
And we balanced the budget while cutting taxes and keeping taxes down, and that is just…that’s important.
The measures contained in the budget, one in particular, are of great importance to Canada’s small business.
And I’m very glad to be here today to talk about it with a group of entrepreneurs, for it bears repeating that small business, such as F.C. WoodWorks, Rick and Tessa’s, these businesses are the foundation of the Canadian economy.
There are more than a million of them across our great country.
Nearly eight million Canadians work for companies with fewer than 500 employees.
Those businesses deliver more than half of Canada’s economic output.
They create ninety per cent of new jobs.
From coast to coast, these businesses are the fabric of our communities.
That’s why ever since our Government came to office, we have acted in every way we can to make life easier for Canada’s enterprising small business sector.
For example, to get rid of ill-conceived and outdated regulations, we launched the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan: something spearheaded by Dan Kelly and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
So congratulations on that.
We’ve worked with our credit card companies to cut the fees that merchants pay.
We’ve expanded the Canada Small Business Financing Program to help ambitious Canadians start or grow their own businesses.
It’s why we introduced a tax credit for hiring apprentices.
It’s why we increased the Lifetime Capital Gains exemption – tax exemption for small business owners – and why we indexed that limit to inflation.
The list goes on.
With export seminars, on the ground help overseas, and financial assistance for market research we’re also helping small business to enter the global export market and value chains.
And to take advantage of the historic trade deals that we’ve concluded, of course most recently with the European Union, South Korea, and others.
Because export jobs are good jobs and often carry a significant wage premium.
And to make it less expensive for small businesses to create new jobs, we’ve lowered their employment insurance premiums.
Perhaps most importantly, we’ve cut the small business tax rate from 13% to 11%.
But more than that, so that more businesses would benefit, we dramatically raised the threshold to which that rate applies…under which it applies.
And today I’m here to emphasize from the budget more good news on small business taxes.
I’m pleased to confirm that our Government will be making further reductions to the small business tax rate.
On the first of January upcoming, the small business tax rate will be cut from 11% to 10.5%.
Thereafter, it will be cut by another half percentage point each and every year until it reaches a new low of just 9%.
Now because our budget is balanced and our fiscal position is strong, these tax reductions are certain, stable, and secure.
And you can also depend on them because our Government’s record has been all about keeping taxes low.
Now, friends, it’s that time of the Parliamentary cycle where it’s appropriate to do a little bit of comparison shopping.
Let me observe that it was quite surprising recently to see the leader of the opposition himself promising tax cuts for small business.
Because Mr. Mulcair…for that matter, Mr. Trudeau, have voted against every single business tax cut, in fact every tax cut our Government has ever brought in.
So what gives?
Are they just up to some pre-electoral posturing?
Has there been some ‘road to Damascus’ conversion?
It’s not those things, it’s something else.
And small business needs to be aware of this.
It is a sleight of hand.
Whatever small businesses might save in tax cuts being promised by the NDP and, I guess they’re not even being promised by the Liberals now, Liberals are promising to raise them back, but if they ever actually do them, they would pay for those tax cuts with other tax increases.
Especially in big tax hikes they are planning to CPP premiums.
To the job-killing, payroll taxes that small businesses must pay.
That, by the way, is not their only planned tax hike, but it is the one most targeted at small business.
Now friends, don’t get us wrong.
We believe saving for the future is vitally important.
That’s why we give people options.
Voluntary choices to help us save.
We give people tax breaks, not tax hikes, so that they can save.
For example, under our Government we created, and now we have doubled, the Tax Free Savings Account.
People can put aside now up to $10,000 per year and almost 11 million Canadians are already putting money into TFSAs.
And that money will be sheltered from tax for the rest of your life.
Or you can take out a registered retirement savings plans, and the contributions to RRSPs are tax-deductible immediately.
There are many other options.
Voluntary options, tax-saving options, that we have enhanced to help people save, and we will continue to look for ways to improve such voluntary options.
What we will not suggest is raising taxes on workers that they don’t want to pay, and claiming it is, quote “for their own good,” and then hitting small businesses with tax hikes that small business cannot afford to pay.
Our Government does not believe in forcing Canadians into a single compulsory, one size fits all, approach.
Nor reaching in to the park…pockets of hard-working middle class Canadians and reducing their take-home pay.
Having managed the Canadian economy through challenging times, I know that doing that would put our financial security and their financial security at risk.
And put back families who are struggling to get ahead.
These are the people we are trying to help make ends meet.
So let me be utterly clear.
Under our Government there will be no mandatory job-killing, economy-destabilizing, payroll tax hike.
Not for employers and not for employees.
And we will continue to support the vital small business sector.
Support the creation of jobs and growth, and we’ll do so with our low-tax, balanced budget plan and policies.
In the certain knowledge that our tax breaks for you are assured, and that they will not be offset by other tax hikes.
Now let me close with this, ladies and gentlemen:
Our Government’s priority has been, and remains, to secure economic opportunities now, and for future generations.
So we have a very straightforward approach for encouraging growth and creating jobs.
For protecting the stability of our economy and the financial security of hard-working Canadians.
It’s a balanced budget plan.
It’s a low-tax plan.
And it is especially a low-tax plan for small business.
And it’s one that allows you, the great entrepreneurs of Canada’s small business community, to keep creating the jobs that Canadian families need.
I thank you for doing that, and I thank you all for being here today.
Thank you very much.