Mr. Speaker, I think the President of the Treasury Board answered this question yesterday when he said that the spending increase this year results from the debt increase left to us unfortunately by the previous government.
Now, let me answer the first question which is identical to a previous one, but I understand how these things work. I just want to add that the editorial in the Globe and Mail also talks about the $2.4 billion stabilization claims received from the provinces. Unfortunately, in accordance with accounting principles, we are required to pay those liabilities once they are known. The same thing goes for the $250 million provision for the cancellation of the helicopter contract, which we dealt with in accordance with private sector accounting principles. With regard to the significant savings arising from the defence cuts, which amount to $450 million, we now know that we have to include them in this year's figures.
On the issue of accelerating income tax refunds, the truth is that we have to include that money in this year's budget since we are in the process of accelerating the refunds. We have followed to the letter the measures recommended by the Auditor General. I know full well that the critic for the Bloc Quebecois wants us to follow the dictates of the Auditor General, because he is always quoting him, and that is exactly what we have done.