2015 Budget Highlights: Economic Action Plan

budget 2015Our Conservative Government is balancing the budget while taking prudent action to lower taxes, create jobs and economic growth, and provide security to Canadians:

Balancing the Budget:

  • Balanced budget legislation will enshrine into law the Harper Government’s responsible fiscal management that is creating jobs and providing the flexibility needed to continue putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
  • The deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the Great Recession to a projected surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015–16.
  • Since 2006, the Harper Government has managed taxpayers’ money responsibly. It paid down $37 billion in debt before the Great Recession, an important reason why Canada’s net debt level is so low – Canada’s net debt to GDP ratio is less than half the G7 average.
  • A balanced budget allows the Harper Government to cut taxes further for hard-working Canadians everywhere.

Supporting Jobs and Growth:

  • Reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019 – putting an estimated $2.3 billion back into the pockets of job-creating entrepreneurs between now and 2020.
  • Increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $1 million for farmers and fishermen.
  • Improving access to financing for Canadian small businesses through the Canada Small Business Financing Program.
  • Expanding the services offered through the Business Development Bank of Canada to help small- and medium-sized businesses.
  • Investing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada in support of young entrepreneurs.
  • Investing in the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs to help women business owners succeed.
  • Helping innovative companies grow and create jobs through the Venture Capital Action Plan.
  • Taking action to help harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades.
  • Investing in world-class research and innovation by providing over $1.5 billion in funding over five years to advance the Government’s renewed science, technology, and innovation strategy.
  • Continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial, and municipal infrastructure under the New Building Canada Plan.
  • Investing $750 million over two years starting in 2017-18 and $1 billion ongoing thereafter, for a new Public Transit Fund aimed at building new public transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and fight gridlock in large cities.

Helping Families and Communities Prosper:

  • Increasing the Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for the 2015 and subsequent taxation years.
  • Supporting seniors by introducing changes to the Registered Retirement Income Fund that will allow them to withdraw less from their tax-deferred savings.
  • Supporting seniors and persons with disabilities by introducing the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovation costs so that they can live independently and remain in their homes.
  • Enhancing access to post-secondary education by expanding the eligibility for Low- and Middle-Income Canada Student Grants to students in short-duration programs
  • Extending the temporary measure that allows a qualifying family member to become the plan holder of a Registered Disability Savings Plan.
  • Supporting the most vulnerable in our communities by providing $50 million in 2016–17 to support social housing in Canada by allowing social housing providers to prepay their long-term, non-renewable mortgages without penalty.
  • Improving access to print materials for the visually impaired.
  • Providing $3 million over two years to help secure new market access for Canadian seal products.
  • Introducing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit for severely disabled veterans.
  • Increasing the level of individualized care to veterans requiring regular support by improving the ratio of veterans to case managers.

Ensuring the Security of Canadians:

  • Increasing National Defence funding by providing the Canadian Armed Forces with an additional $12 billion, thus ensuring that Canada can continue to field a combat-capable military ready to serve at home and abroad.
  • Supporting the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces in order to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
  • Countering violent extremism and terrorism by providing additional resources to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Canada Border Services Agency.
  • Enhancing Canada’s capacity to gather foreign intelligence.
  • Protecting the integrity of our borders by expanding the use of biometric screening to further improve the security and integrity of the Canadian immigration system and facilitate legitimate travel to Canada for low-risk travellers from select visa-required countries.