Mr. Speaker, in my former life as a member of the Alberta legislature I ran into the same sort of circumstance. I appreciate being recognized in the House and having the opportunity to enter the budget debate today.
Yesterday I listened very carefully and considered what the Minister of Finance presented as the government's plan for Canadians. We heard in the last election about the plan that was going to change everything for Canadians and fix all the problems. During that campaign we were presented with the red book that supposedly had all the answers to all the questions. The problem is that red book is now out of date and does not answer the questions. The red book principles were applied to the budget plan that was presented to us yesterday. It is not good enough for Canadians.
Why is it not good enough? First, if I had to define the budget and describe it, I would say that it is a budget without any conclusion, without any direction and without any real resolution of the major problem that Canadians are facing, a major problem that is only being enhanced and encouraged by the government.
When I say that there is no conclusion, I think of the Minister of Finance in his former responsibility in his private life where he had a fleet of boats on the Great Lakes. The hon. member would never have put a boat on the lake and said: "It sits there. I do not know where it is going and I have no conclusion as to the destiny of that boat". He would not do that. Nor would anybody tell a story without having a conclusion to that story so that we understood where the story was leading us as it was being told to us. This budget does not have its conclusion.
What was the conclusion that we were waiting for as Canadians? I heard it through the media. The member for St. Boniface has said to us as he quoted a number of articles about the budget that people were responding in a certain way.
In the last week to 10 days Canadians, people in the investment community and the media had one question that was paramount in their minds: when will the deficit be eliminated? When will that deficit come to zero?
The answer to that question was not in this budget. That has had a devastating effect in my mind on the confidence of Canadians investing in this country. We do not know where interest rates are going to go, what the value of the dollar will be. We do not know the type of revenue growth that we are going to have because there is a lack of confidence. This government did not have the will nor the courage to put its administration on the line and set up a plan that would reach a proper conclusion, one that must be dealt with in this country.
What did we get out of that budget? As I said a few moments ago as I raised a question in this House, we are left with $100 billion of added debt to the current debt in this country.
In three years of administration of this government by the time we get to 1996-97, $100 billion will be added to the debt. Interest payments from 1994-95 to 1995-96 have gone from $42 billion up to $49.7 billion, over $6 billion in one year of additional cost in terms of our interest.
The following year, in 1996-97, are those interest costs going down? No, they are not. They will be $50.7 billion. We can imagine what that does to the budget, how that affects social programs, how that affects other priorities, how that is going to affect this government in its decision making in terms of expenditure reduction, of reducing the services of the federal government to the Canadian people.
The interest cost is out of hand and is going to continue because there is no plan, there is no conclusion in this budget. What happens after 1996-97? That is a serious question. This government does not know what is going to happen.
It says that maybe in 1996-97 the deficit can go down to $19 billion, that the 3 per cent target is $25 billion. If we get there then we are okay in Canada. That is not true. All we need is a bit of a recession and the $25 billion deficit will start to balloon again up to $25 billion, $30 billion, $40 billion, $50 billion. What is the consequence?
The consequence is that we could add another $100 billion very quickly to the accumulated debt of this country. It will not only be in 1996-97, $603 billion as the Minister of Finance told us yesterday. Most likely by 1998-99 it could be $700 billion. Where then is our interest cost and where is the economy of Canada? We are in a disastrous position.
This governments says do not worry, it is going to be okay, that it is going to come up with a plan to deal with it, it has two years of administration to do something. It has not done anything. In this House we wasted the fiscal year 1994-95 by a do nothing budget. This budget is not much better when we clear away some of the rhetoric that we heard. Do we know what the real expenditure reductions are-$4.1 billion of expenditure reduction. It is heralding it as a great success.
By the time we reach the conclusion of this Parliament or the fiscal year 1996-97, that is not much of a start in dealing with the deficit. We are going to pay the consequences. The softer we are, the liberal approach that we are using is not going to work very well and Canadians are going to pay.
I want to make one more point in my last two minutes. Who pays for this? We are laying on our children and on the future generations of this country at least another $100 billion in debt. That is a crime.
This government stands up here and says in this budget that it did not increase personal income tax. Think of the increase in personal income tax on our next generation. That is only a few years down the road. It will have to pay to pick up this accumulated debt. Think of the imposition that this government has laid on its shoulders, another $100 billion which is its responsibility; not the Conservatives, which was the last government, it is its responsibility.
Think of the increase in personal income tax that is going to happen. Think of the corporations that will have to flee this country because they cannot pay the amount of taxes that will be imposed on them by, who knows, the next Liberal government or another government that has to come in and deal with the circumstances.
That is the crime in this budget. That is the absolute crime. Like never before we need a Reform budget, the taxpayers' budget, which said very clearly to Canadians that taxes should not be increased at this time. That is number one. Number two, we must reduce the expenditures so that the deficit is brought to zero within a three-year period.
This is the responsibility that we should be taking in this House, not this soft hand approach that has been used and one that is leading us into terrible circumstances for the future generations of this country.
I think that has to be taken into consideration. If the government does not, it has to live with the crime. Its members have been the cowards not to deal with the problems that face them, and future generations will look back at this very difficult time that was not dealt with in a responsible way by this government.