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MPs laud budget, say it focuses on riding’s priorities, jobs and growth

Conservative MPs serving King lauded last week's federal budget, indicating it will have a meaningful impact on local residents.
“Our plan matches the priorities of York-Simcoe families by further reducing the deficit to keep taxes down, lowering the cost of sports equipment and baby clothing and helping people get better jobs,” said York-Simcoe MP Peter Van Loan.
The budget features no new taxes and projects a balanced budget in 2015.
The highlights of the Economic Action Plan include:
• The deficit is down by two-thirds.
• On track to balance the budget by 2015.
• Creating the Canada Job Grant - which will take skills training money out of the hands of government, and put it directly in the hands of employers and those who want to work.
• Extending and expanding the job creation hiring credit.
• Eliminating the hidden 18% tax on sports equipment and baby clothing.
• Expanding HST exemption for seniors to include personal home care services.
• Investing in new roads and local infrastructure.
“This budget protects our local environment. In addition to the existing Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, new resources will combat the threat of invasive species to the ecosystem and support more natural land conservation,” said Van Loan.
Included are:
• New protection from the harm of invasive species ($4 million).
• New funds to conserve ecologically sensitive land under the Natural Areas Conservation Program ($20 million).
Canada's fiscal performance leads all major developed economies (G-7 countries) in the world.
Since the downturn, Canada has posted the best job creation, strongest economic growth, lowest debt and lowest deficit. More than 950,000 net new jobs have been created since the downturn.
Oak Ridges-Markham MP Paul Calandra welcomed the new federal budget and its continued focus on job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity as good news for Oak Ridges-Markham. The Plan, which will see Canada return to balanced budgets in 2015, keeps federal taxes at their lowest level in 50 years.
“While Canada has the best job creation record among all G-7 countries since the worst of the global recession with over 950,000 net new jobs, we recognize that the global economy remains very challenging,” said Calandra. “In Economic Action Plan 2013, our Conservative government remains squarely focused on the number one priority of Canadians, with a forward-looking plan to help create jobs and grow the economy in Ontario and across Canada.”
Economic Action Plan 2013 includes key measures to strengthen Canada's economy, including:
• Increased skills and training support, including the new $15,000 Canada Job Grant, to help more Canadians find high-quality, well-paying jobs.
• Tax breaks for manufacturers who buy new machinery and equipment to stay competitive, and an extended “hiring credit” for small businesses who create jobs.
• A record $70 billion federal investment in infrastructure across Canada, including roads, bridges, subways, rail lines, and ports.
• Major investments in research and technology.
• New tax relief for Canadians who give to charity, adopt a child, or rely on homecare services.
• Elimination of “import tax” tariffs on everyday items Canadian families buy, like baby clothing, sports gear, and exercise equipment.
• $3 million in 2013-14 to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) for a National Digital Hub.
Economic Action Plan 2013 also confirmed the Conservative government's continued all-time record support for hospitals, schools, and other important health and social services in Ontario. In fact, in 2013-14, federal transfer support to Ontario will be almost $9 billion higher than under the former federal Liberal government.
“Since 2008 I have worked with the CNIB and Vision2020 to bring together stakeholders from across the country to draw attention to the ongoing issue of avoidable blindness. I am pleased to see that Economic Action Plan 2013 will include $3 million to support a National Digital Hub of alternative format materials for distribution to the print disabled community. This is a great step forward to support the educational development of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted and will improve their quality of life,” Calandra added.
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) gives the federal government a B Plus rating for a budget that focuses on balancing the books while providing targeted funding to spark economic activity.
“With lingering economic uncertainty, the government's focus remains a multi-year incremental approach to balancing its books that allows for the funding of initiatives aimed at creating jobs and economic growth,” explained Gabe Hayos, vice-president, taxation, with the CICA. “However, it is essential that the government stays on course and gets its finances in order if Canada is to achieve a sustainable recovery.”
There are no significant personal or corporate tax increases but the government is taking action to preserve its tax base. The budget looks to close tax loopholes, address aggressive tax planning, clarify tax rules, reduce international tax avoidance and tax evasion and improve tax fairness.
The CICA would have preferred to see more action to reduce the complexity of Canada's tax system, making the country more attractive for investment.
Other measures being applauded include the government continuing to work with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to improve the foreign credential recognition processes along with plans to improve financial literacy among seniors.
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