Fall UpdateOctober 3, 2016
It has been a very busy and productive summer, and there were many opportunities to catch up with the residents of Wellington County and Halton Hills. I recently returned to Ottawa, where the House of Commons has returned to session for the fall and winter months, and where I look forward to continuing to work on your behalf.
In speaking with many of you this summer, a number of concerns were raised about the sluggish job market and stalling economy. The Liberal government’s excessive borrowing and spending also have people concerned about the sustainability of the government’s economic plans. All of this is affecting families and local businesses, who have told me that they want the government to focus on getting the economy moving while keeping taxes low and reining in government spending.
This fall, the Liberals will push ahead with more changes that will continue to hit the pocketbooks of Canadians.
Under the previous government, the small business tax rate was reduced from 12 percent to 11 percent, with plans to further reduce it to 9 percent. During the election campaign, the Liberals also committed to a plan to reduce the tax rate to 9 percent. However, following the election, small business owners – as well as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business – were disappointed to find out that not only did the Liberals abandon their commitment, but they also cancelled the Hiring Credit for Small Business.
This is the wrong approach for the government to take to stimulate the economy. The best advice from economists is that that the most effective way to stimulate economic growth is to cut business taxes, since that money will immediately be spent and invested.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer – an independent, non-partisan officer of parliament – estimated that the Liberals’ backpedaling will cost small businesses $2.15 billion over five years. Combined with the cancellation of the Hiring Credit for Small Businesses and the proposed CPP premium hike, small businesses will pay a hefty price for the Liberals’ broken promises.
In fact, so too will workers. Calculations suggest that people making $30,000 per year will lose $215 from their paycheques annually, and people making $60,000 per year will lose $565 from their paycheques annually. High earners will pay nearly $1,100 more in taxes, and two working parents could pay double. And these numbers do not include the income tax increase on high earners, who will see their income tax rate go up 4 per cent.
This fall, the Liberals are also expected to move forward with their plan on electoral reform. Conservatives remain steadfast in the belief that when you change the fundamental rules of democracy, everyone gets to have a say. All Canadians should have their say through a national referendum, before any changes are made to how you vote for your local MP. Of the thousands of residents who responded to my recent survey on electoral reform, the overwhelming majority of respondents agree that a national referendum is necessary.
This fall, we continue to hold the Liberal government to account, fighting to keep taxes low, control spending, and deliver a realistic job plan to get Canada’s economy moving. As the Official Opposition, we will continue to fulfill our constitutional role to oppose the government and hold them to account every step of the way.