Madam Speaker, certainly there are problems. I assume the hon. member was referring largely to such things as the underground economy and how a lot of revenue the government should be collecting is disappearing. There are two ends of the scale. There are allegations that at the top end of the scale there are people who use tax loopholes to escape paying their due portion and at all ends of the scale from the bottom up there are people who are using this underground economy to escape paying high taxes and particularly the GST.
These are things that definitely have to be addressed. One of the ways we are looking at addressing the tax system is using a flat tax type of system. Interestingly, one of the models I have looked at was originally devised by a member of the Liberal Party. Unfortunately it did not get a lot of response at the time.
We have system that we have devised in which we will ensure that each person pays a fair share. The only deductions that will be allowed are those that apply to the most general population across Canada. With regard to the money we are losing in things like GST and so on with the underground economy, one of the problems is if we put so much burden on people, they finally will get to a point at which they justify in their own mind that it is proper, that it is actually the right thing to do to avoid paying taxes wherever possible. We saw this in the case of the cigarette tax in the east where people openly flaunted the fact that they were buying cigarettes that did not have the tax paid on them. People will get to the point at which they say enough is enough.
These are things that have to be dealt with. We think the only way that will be dealt with, rather than extracting more money or enforcing under GST, is to get government's end under control, which is the spending. We have to reduce the government's need for those tax dollars. We have to deal with the tax burden that is placed on people so we are not taxing people to the extent that they find every loophole they can get, legal and otherwise, to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.