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Posted in Politics

Published on August 13, 2015 with No Comments

Under Prime Minister Harper’s proven leadership, our Conservative government has cut taxes and is making life more affordable for all Canadians. By reducing taxes year after year and enhancing direct benefits to Canadians, we have made sure that Canadians keep more of their hard-earned money so that they can make the choices that are right for them.  In 2015 alone, our low-tax plan will return as much as $6,600 dollars of tax relief and enhanced benefits back into the hands of each hardworking family in Canada.

Since 2006, the Harper Government has cut taxes and enhanced benefits for Canadians. For instance, the Conservative government has:

  • Increased the amount Canadians can earn tax-free.
  • Cut the lowest personal income tax rate to 15%.
  • Cut the GST from 7% to 5%.
  • Introduced the Family Tax Cut, a federal non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18.
  • Created and enhanced the monthly Universal Child Care Benefit.
  • Improved the rules for Registered Retirement Income Funds to allow seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement.
  • Increased the Age Credit amount by $2,000 and doubled, to $2,000, the maximum amount of income eligible for the Pension Income Credit.
  • Introduced pension income splitting for seniors.

In 2009, the Conservative government introduced the single most important personal savings vehicle since the RRSP: the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).  Earlier this year, the Conservative government enhanced the TFSA in order to allow Canadians to contribute even more each year, up to $10,000 annually.

Available since 2009, the TFSA is a flexible, registered savings vehicle that allows Canadians to earn tax-free investment income, including interest, dividends and capital gains. Contributions to a TFSA are not tax-deductible, but investment income earned in a TFSA and withdrawals from it are tax-free. Unused TFSA contribution room is carried forward and the amount of withdrawals from a TFSA can be re-contributed in future years. Canadians have embraced the TFSA for their savings needs. As of the end of 2013, nearly 11 million individuals had opened a TFSA and the total value of assets held in TFSAs was nearly $120 billion.

The TFSA provides greater savings incentives for low- and modest-income individuals because, in addition to the tax savings, neither the income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals from it affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits, such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, the Age Credit, and Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits.

The TFSA is a popular means of saving for Canadians at all income levels. Individuals with annual incomes of less than $80,000 accounted for more than 80 per cent of all TFSA holders and about 75 per cent of TFSA assets as of the end of 2013. About half of TFSA holders had annual incomes of less than $42,000. At the end of 2013, about 1.9 million individuals had contributed the maximum amount to their TFSAs. About 46 per cent of these individuals were seniors and over 70 per cent were aged 55 or over. Furthermore, about 60 per cent of the individuals contributing the maximum amount to their TFSAs had incomes of less than $60,000 in 2013.

Canadians have many reasons to save at every stage of life. These can include saving for retirement, to start a business, to purchase a home or car, or for a vacation. Reducing taxes on savings helps Canadians achieve their goals, while also promoting investment, economic growth and jobs.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised that, as part of the Conservatives’ low-tax plan for Canadian families, a re-elected Conservative government will protect the TFSA and the recent enhancements that Canadians currently enjoy.

Canadians at all income levels are benefitting from the tax cuts and enhanced benefits introduced by the Harper Government, with low- and middle-income Canadians receiving proportionately greater relief. Tax-Free Savings Accounts have provided Canadian families and seniors with a secure and flexible savings option that protects their money from being eroded by taxes.

Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have threatened to cut back the ability of Canadians to save through TFSAs.  As part of their plan to hike taxes on Canadian families, Justin and Thomas Mulcair have repeatedly promised to restrict TFSAs, which means that Canadians saving for retirement or for future family needs will have to pay more tax on what they put away. The high-tax agenda of Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair will put Canadians’ financial security at risk. In particular, Canadians with modest incomes and those nearing retirement will be hurt by Justin and Thomas Mulcair’s unaffordable high-tax scheme.

Only Prime Minister Harper will continue to implement a low-tax plan for Canadian families. Only Prime Minister Harper believes that Canadians should keep more of their hard-earned money and are best-placed to decide how to invest in the needs and priorities of their families.


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