Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver will announce Thursday a small business tax credit that will save business owners about half a billion dollars over the next two years, CTV News has learned.

LIVE @ 11 a.m. ET: Watch Finance Minister Joe Oliver's announcement here

The tax credit, which will help offset employment insurance premiums, will benefit up to 90 per cent of small businesses in Canada, CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Wednesday night.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates the measure will create 25,000 new jobs over the next two years.

The announcement comes as Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares to put a major focus on jobs and the economy when Parliament resumes next week.

Opposition parties have been saying for some time that employment insurance premiums are too high and should be slashed for both businesses and employees.