Mr. Speaker, in an interview he gave to La Presse on Saturday, the Minister of Finance tries to surprise us with his perceptiveness as a businessman. According to the minister, the underground economy far exceeds the levels reported by his own officials.
However, once the problem has been recognized, the minister's perceptiveness starts fading. He has no information to give us on the size of the underground economy, much less a solution to propose.
With regard to the GST, the government has lost control over its revenue but the minister does not have the courage to undertake a comprehensive review of his fiscal policy. He proposes to act alone in the dark.
Same thing for the debt and the deficit. Although the minister knows that he must cut spending in the public service, he has not made a single proposal. Yet, the minister is already slashing social programs without the necessary studies in hand. History repeats itself: Ottawa has decided to cut but it is the provinces and the unemployed who will pay the price.