Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to speak on Bill C-59.
Bill C-59 is sort of a remnant, a leftover or a bad memory about the last budget that was brought into this House, the 1994-95 budget, a most disgusting type of document that was ever presented to Canadians. It was a document that was not prepared, not thought through and had nothing to do with the real economy of this country. That is one of the disgusting things that I think about this morning.
The other disgusting thing that I think about is the fact that the Liberal members, many of them who sit in the front row today, sat for eight years on this side of the House and never prepared themselves for government. The reason that a party is in the official opposition is that it prepares itself to be the government. They did not do that. For eight years the Liberals played politics, surface politics. They tried to think about how they could go on a power trip or manipulate the government to get back into power and sit on the front benches on that side.
By accident the Liberals did. By accident they became the government. When they became government they did not have any plans. They did not know why they were government. They
were like a dog that caught a car and did not know what to do with it, that traditional, proverbial story.
The Liberals talk about the fact that they put out a red book. The fact of the matter is that red book has so many generalities and political statements that are out of date and meaningless today that it is like the ostrich that has his head in the sand and does not look around at the true reality of life at a point in time. They stand up over and over again and say to us as Canadians that the red book states they are going to do this. They cannot bring themselves beyond the red book to try to create another idea or to recognize that the economy of Canada is something different than it was four or five years ago when the red book was written.
The minister of defence should certainly think about some of these things and take his responsibility when these kinds of things are before the House.
Here before us we have Bill C-59 which talks about tax increases. Most likely these were designed in the red book as well. Three or four years before they were introduced nobody looked at whether they were contemporary in nature or not or fit the circumstances. They do not.
Today in the 1994-95 budget there should not have been any increases in taxes or a greater imposition on the business community of this country which Bill C-59 does. It is the most disgusting thing that I have ever seen.
Here today we hear this ghost of the 1994-95 budget being brought into this House, the ghost that is going to haunt us as Canadians.
What has been the result of that kind of planning and that kind of responsibility that this Liberal Party has taken? What is the response? Yesterday we had the response to Canadians by Moody's from New York. It made a political interception into the economy of Canada and said very clearly to Canadians, said very clearly to the Minister of Finance, said very clearly to the Prime Minister they are going to bring forward a budget in 1995-96 that is absolutely inadequate and that Moody's is going to lower the credit rating of this country from an AAA to an AA.
This government is thinking five years ago about things it did five years ago. This government does not recognize that you cannot tax people more in this country. This government does not recognize that this target of 3 per cent that was set out in the red book is not a realistic figure in terms of the economy today. It is a political target that was set up by this government three or four years ago to move into an election. It cannot understand the stupidity of that projection at that time is only more stupid today. It is unrealistic in terms of this economy and the needs of this economy.
The government does not understand. The Liberal Party does not understand. The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, who are key to where we go in Canada, key to our economic stability, key to job growth, key to economic growth, are blind to the facts of the current circumstances. They do not realize that they have to sit down with their colleagues in caucus and say that this liberal approach to government, this kind of soft, fuzzy decision making has to stop. They have to recognize that they have to eliminate the deficit in the next three or four years. They must do it within the term of this Parliament. They must say it in the 1995-96 budget that is going to come before us in about a month.
They have to say that to Canadians. They have to say that to the investment community. If they do not, what is going to happen? Yesterday was the best signal this government could ever have. The government has time to revise its plans. It was given a signal loud and clear. It has to come up with a plan to balance its budget, to bring the deficit to zero within the term of this Parliament. The dollar lowered yesterday some 47 points. We saw it lower again this morning. We saw the bonds affected significantly. We are going to see interest rates going up. They have already. We know what interests rates do to the cost of government.
Many of us have said this in this House and I feel it is a very reliable figure. Every 1 per cent increase in interest rates over a period of a year costs $7 billion to this government and to us as Canadians. If we compound the interest into the second year it is something like $2.3 billion with that 1 per cent interest rate. In the third year that 1 per cent interest rate means something like $3.5 billion. Government members do not understand that. They were given a shock treatment yesterday that should have provided them with the best advice or the best favour ever. However what did they do? They do not listen.
As the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister stand in question period today they will say they are going to hit their target in two years. Who cares? The target is stupid. The target is out of gear. The target is not even realistic. It is the most unrealistic thing I have ever heard in terms of today's economies.
Moody's is telling the government that its target is out of gear and inadequate. It is reported in the press. If all these people who read the paper in the morning to get their political advice read the Financial Post or the Globe and Mail this morning, they would have received some good advice on the implications of what the Liberals are doing or how they are acting.
I hope the government takes some time to listen. I hope it will revise some of these fuzzy liberal expenditure reductions that we will hear about at the end of the month. I hope it will reconsider some of the taxes to be imposed.
As I listen to members, not only in the House but in interviews through the various media, I hear that the Liberals are going to put a tax on lotteries. They are going to tax greater the corporate sector. I am sure they will put a surtax on all Canadians to pay for their bad management and the fact that they cannot reduce expenditures in the country quickly.
They are setting up Canadians in the sense that they are misinforming Canadians. They are telling Canadians that if they reduce the size of government, lay off employees, pay them severances and so on, they will not be able to bring the budget down quickly. They are creating this image. They are saying that they cannot bring it down quickly in the first two years so they will put a surtax on us. It just does not work that way.
If expenditure reduction is done in the right way and some grant programs and the overhead in some departments are cut and employees are released as quickly as possible, there will be an expenditure reduction.
All we have to do is look at what happened in Alberta. There was a direct relationship between the reduction in the size of government and the reduction in expenditures. The fallacy that is being created that we will need a surtax on an interim basis is a bunch of hogwash and I hope Canadians do not accept it. They will react to that kind of thing.
The Liberals talk about other taxes such as an inheritance tax. There are a few people in Canada who worked hard and saved money, and they want to take from their pockets as well. They also talk about the RRSPs. People know that the Canada pension plan will not be sustainable under current circumstances. What are they going to do there? I am sure it is part of the upcoming budget. They will reduce the level and the amount of RRSPs middle income people can put away for their future retirement.
The Liberal government is still living with its head in the sand. It is living a the period of time about five years ago when the red book was written. It has not adjusted to today. It is still living this old traditional approach to politics, that is to tax the people and not cut the money spent on inefficient and ineffective social programs that have failed.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to have been in politics for about 30 years. I observed in my early days that people were more self-reliant. I recognize that this liberal attitude has caused us to spend billions of dollars on what we thought were social problems. Everybody in Canada were to be perfect individuals. It has failed. Unemployment is greater. There are more people on social programs, unemployment insurance and public assistance today. There are three million Canadians on public assistance. If that is a success story then we should spend more money and improve it some way or another. However that is not the way it is done. Those social programs have failed but members of the government want to carry on because they think that is the approach to making Canadians perfect.
It is like their support for the CBC. I hear from some of them that the CBC has to continue its rate of expenditure because it creates the culture of Canada. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
Bill C-59 is a glimpse of the inadequacy of the government. It is a glimpse of what is to come: more taxation in the 1995-96 budget because they want to take from the rich and supposedly give to the poor. That is the philosophy but I do not know who is on either end today.
It also indicates a soft fuzzy approach to expenditure reduction to eliminate the deficit. Many of my colleagues have asked over and over again in the House what will happen after two years when we still have a $25 billion deficit. There most likely will be a downturn in the economy that could immediately put pressure on government borrowing and push our deficit again up to $40 billion or $50 billion. It will be out of control. We have a window at this time and the government does not recognize that it is there.
Government members blame the debt on the Conservatives. They say that the Conservatives did it. They have to remember that Mr. Chrétien, Mr. Trudeau and others left $170 billion of debt. Certainly the Conservatives boosted that up to $500 billion. Now it is at $550 billion. In two years it will be $600 billion with a $50 billion interest payment being made. Where are social programs then?
We do not support Bill C-59 and the government has to wake up and be realistic about its responsibility. It is unfortunate that we have to sit here for another three years with a majority government. It is going to be an unfortunate circumstance for Canadians.
I urge everybody in the House to vote against Bill C-59.