MP Report by Jay Hill

Celebrating Policies that Support Parents? and Taxpayers? Choices

This month marks the first anniversary of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Yet Canadians are not only celebrating this federal program for parents, we?re also embracing the fact that the federal government has made a fundamental shift away from a ?government-knows-best? philosophy. This not only applies to parents but to ALL taxpayers and how they choose to spend their hard-earned money.

Our Conservative Government firmly believes that parents know what is best for their families based upon their own circumstances. For some parents, that means daycare, either at a facility or in someone?s loving home. It may mean children are cared for by a relative while their parents work. Or, Mom or Dad may choose to stay at home with their family.

With the direct financial assistance of $1,200 per year for every child under six, we are helping parents choose the type of child care that is right for their family. The Benefit is providing $2.4-billion each year to 1.5 million families for 2 million young children.

Under the former Liberal government, federal child care money was directed to politicians, bureaucrats, academics and special interests groups. And to this day, the Liberals remain dead-set against choice in child care with St├ęphane Dion confirming that he would cancel the UCCB if given the chance.

Our Conservative Government recognizes that in addition to the UCCB, we also need to create more child care spaces to help those parents where that option is the best choice for their children. Starting this year, we have begun transferring $250-million to the provinces and territories for the creation of more child care spaces. In addition, in Budget 2007, we created a 25 percent investment tax credit for businesses that create child care spaces for their employees, up to a maximum of $10,000 per space created.

And there?s more. We established a new $2,000 Child Tax Credit which will provide up to $310 per child for parents of children under the age of 18. This will give additional tax relief to more than 3 million Canadian families.

Overall, in 2007-08, our government will provide nearly $5.6-billion in support of early learning and child care through transfer to the provinces, direct spending and tax measures.

It?s not just families with children that are benefiting from our government?s aggressive tax cuts. We?re delivering $41-billion in tax relief over three years for individuals, families and businesses. Yet we?ve also reduced our nation?s debt load by $22-billion over two fiscal years, or by almost $700 for every man, woman and child in Canada.

What?s more, our Tax Back Guarantee has been enshrined into law, committing all interest savings from the shrinking federal debt to MORE personal income tax reductions.

All this in just 18 months since our Conservative Government took office. When we?re done, Canada?s economy will be even stronger and Canadians from all walks of life and all ages will be better able to reach their full potential and achieve goals that reflect THEIR choices.