Mr. Speaker, if Canadians ever had any question in their mind about the truth of the saying Liberal, Tory, same old story, it has been put totally to rest with this budget.
For the longest time in Canada, unfortunately Canadians have been subjected to very deceptive political practices, particularly as we approach an election. We have seen historically where governments have attempted to make things appear to be what they are not and particularly to try to buy the votes of the Canadian public. Canadians are far too intelligent to continue to put up with that kind of deceptive political practice.
Let me tie the Liberals and Tories together inextricably right from the word go. We are talking about a bracket creep, and that is not my opinion of some of the members opposite. In bracket creep we are talking about something that was actually brought into effect by the Tories in a budget of theirs in 1988. They basically deindexed the amount of the basic personal exemption and also deindexed any increases, unless inflation was over 3 per cent, that would occur in the tax brackets.
If we were to assume that an individual had a $3,000 job five years ago, it is quite feasible that the person today, for doing the same work, in order to have the same buying power that he had five years ago at $3,000 would have to have $3,600 in income. Unfortunately, his basic personal exemption of $6,453 in that period of time has not increased. If his basic personal exemption had increased, it should be around $7,900. So in fact, this individual with no change in his buying power from five years ago to today is now paying tax on an additional $1,450. That was originated by the Tories in 1988 and was continued by the Liberals in 1993 which is why I say Liberal, Tory, same old story.
Additionally that individual will find himself suddenly bouncing up into the next tax bracket. The problem is actually magnified or doubled because he is not only paying tax on the additional $1,450 but he is paying the tax at a higher rate. Liberal, Tory, same old story, the same kind of deceptive political practices.
What we are looking at here is not only the continuation of the Tory practices by this Liberal government, but it has taken this deception in this whole process to an even higher level. This government did not even have the intestinal fortitude to bring in the additional amount of money that is going to be taken off of Canadians' pay slips every month. It did not have the intestinal fortitude to include that announcement in this budget.
We are going to be talking about the fact that there have been tax increases later in my discussion. However the point I am driving at is that suddenly Canadians are going to be paying 70 per cent more on their Canada pension plan premium that is being extracted from their paycheque every month. At the higher level that is an additional $1,300 a year for which Canadians will receive nothing, nada, zippo. They will receive absolutely zero in additional benefits for paying out an additional $1,300 a year. If that is not bad enough, the problem is that if the Canadian happens to be self-employed, guess what? They get to pay the employer's portion of that amount.
This afternoon I was speaking to a newspaper reporter and I asked how many people were involved in the company overall. The reporter told me there were about 250. Let us think about this for a second. That company is now faced with an additional $1,300 a year it has to contribute to the Canada pension plan times 250 employees. It is going to be paying out an additional $32,500 a year for absolutely no benefit.
More important, that company will now have to make a decision to reduce the bottom line of the company by $32,500 or fire somebody. Unfortunately the company will probably end up making the worst of the judgments, which is to let somebody go.
This is what is going on here. The young people of Canada on this CPP issue are getting it in the ear two ways. First they are getting it in the ear by virtue of the fact that they will be paying our $1,300 a year more for absolutely no increase. The second difficulty is that their jobs will be jeopardized because companies have no way to attract more income in order to come up with the money for the government in this so-called CPP contribution.
Even for people who are in a lower income bracket, and I mean a very low income bracket, CPP will still be deducted from their cheques. They should know that the amount currently being deducted from their cheques will be increased by 70 per cent. That means they will have less money to spend.
There is a basic tax grab going on in addition to the CPP, which this government will never admit to. How can government members explain that the gross domestic product in Canada, the sum total of all of the goods and services produced in Canada, in the past three years, which is the three years this government has been in this Chamber, has increased by nine and a half per cent? The total goods and services, everything that can be taxed, has increased by nine and a half per cent, but guess what? Government total revenue has increased by twelve and a half per cent. And those members have the audacity to to try to tell us that this government has not been taking more money out of the economy. They cannot refute those numbers.
Taxes cost jobs, and we know that. Take a look. For over 70 consecutive months our unemployment rate in Canada has been over 9 per cent; it is now at 9.7 per cent. In comparison, our trading partners have the following unemployment rates: the United
Kingdom is at 6.7 per cent; the United States is at 5.3 per cent; Japan is at 3.3 per cent. The Liberals cannot walk away from it.
They gave Kim Campbell a rough time in the last election. They tried to say that she did not know what she was talking about when she said that the unemployment rate would probably hover around the 10 per cent level. I recall the current Prime Minister was in absolute glee when Kim Campbell said that. And what have they accomplished? They are still at 9.7 per cent, and with no hope because in the future they will be taking even more money from the economy.
In terms of deception it does not just stop in the area of taxes. I cannot imagine the chutzpah of a finance minister who would actually put out a pamphlet saying that they will be sustaining and improving health care. They will be putting $300 million back in to a place where they took $7 billion out. Let us put this into perspective. Seven billion dollars is seven thousand million dollars. They took seven thousand million dollars out of the health care transfers to the provinces; they are putting three hundred of that seven thousand back, and they say that they are going to sustain and improve health care. Is this a joke or what? The chutzpah of this government is absolutely immense.
The government has downloaded this entire problem to the provinces from the word go. I believe Canadians are intelligent people. Canadians are not going to be taken in by this. When Canadians take the time to realize what a chicanery has been perpetrated on them by the people in government, they will treat it accordingly in the next election.