Budget 2011 – Strengthening the Recovery
Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government is acting on the top priority of Canadians – jobs and growth. Canadians gave us a strong mandate to continue our economic plan, which has already seen two years of economic growth and the creation of more than 560,000 jobs [as of May 2011]. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth, builds on that progress.
Even though Canada has experienced a great recovery, there’s a lot more to do, too many Canadians still need jobs. That’s why we have implemented key measures to support additional job-creation.
Our Government has created a temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business. Small businesses have always been a leading creator of jobs and a driver of our economy. This new measure will reduce small businesses’ Employment Insurance (EI) costs and help create jobs.
We have extended work-sharing agreements to help preserve jobs, a measure that has saved 277,000 jobs over a two year span, from February 2009 to February 2011. We will continue programs to help older workers transition to new jobs.
Our Government has also extended the popular ecoENERGY home retrofit program, helping homeowners save on energy costs, as well as supporting building and retail jobs. In addition, our Government is supporting the manufacturing sector through measures to reduce the costs of investing in new equipment, helping keep and create good jobs in our communities.
Our Conservative Government was well-positioned for the global recession. Our strong economic fundamentals, and our record of paying off debt before the recession, gave Canada the resilience and flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to the global recession. Looking into the future, our Government is committed to protecting Canada’s economic advantage and the financial security of Canadians by upholding our strong economic policies that have helped so far.
Our Government is practicing fiscal restraint. Like so many Canadian families have had to, we’re watching our spending and cutting back. For example, we are eliminating direct taxpayer funding of political parties. By reviewing government operational spending and identifying efficiencies, we will balance the budget a year earlier than previously forecast, without raising taxes or cutting transfers to the provinces.
We continue to invest in skills training and education, including support for apprenticeships, to ensure that Canada has an educated workforce to take advantage of the jobs of tomorrow.
And we are taking important, affordable measures to help seniors, families and children. We enhanced the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to help Canada’s seniors afford a dignified, well-earned retirement. Supporting Canadians who make sacrifices to help loved ones is the goal of our Family Caregivers Tax Credit.
These measures will ensure that Canada maintains the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, providing the financial stability to overcome whatever challenges we face. It’s no wonder our Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth has garnered so much praise from so many Canadians. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says the budget will continue “helping Canadian businesses prosper, compete and create jobs.” The Canadian Building Trades association says our Helmets to Hardhats program, aimed at helping veterans find civilian jobs, will help “deliver top quality talent to jobsites nationwide” and “is a game changer for young veterans.”
Canadians gave our Government a mandate to focus on jobs, strengthen our economic recovery, and keep taxes low. That’s how we can ensure a strong foundation for future prosperity. And that’s exactly what our Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth delivers.