Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest and incredulity to the hon. member who just finished speaking, particularly when he was defending the Canada pension plan in the context of his own experience as an employer. I found it passing strange that anyone who has ever signed a pay cheque would not consider payroll deductions as being a tax.
As everyone knows, employers do not have an option on payroll deductions such as employment insurance or the Canada pension plan. They are mandatory deductions which by law must be paid to the government.
Government documents, including the human resources employment insurance recently issued, refer to payroll deductions as taxes. The finance minister has referred to payroll taxes as a cancer on job creation.
What is the number one problem in our country? Job creation. Who are the most affected in our country as far as finding jobs is concerned? Young males. Who is the most hurt by this? Young males. Who are the last hired and first fired? Young males entering the workforce.
The tragedy of the Canada pension plan is that the government was the opportunity to fix it, not tinker with it, It has been described accurately as a giant Ponzi plan.
I ask the member opposite to pay close attention. Government documents indicate that persons who retired in 1976 contributed to the Canada pension plan $2,521. Their benefits would have been $29,000. They would have had a return 11 times the size of their contribution. Someone retiring in the year 2030, who will be our children, and in the year 2031, will contribute $472,000 to get back $266,000 for a return on their investment of just about half.
Perhaps the hon. member opposite would justify that not to his contemporaries but to his children and his grandchildren who are paying the freight for the retirement plan for seniors and for the debt we leave them.