Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you would be so kind as to let me know when I have one minute left in my speech. With all these interruptions I am losing track of the points I want to make, and I want to make sure I finish with a bang.
I am concerned about this third report. After the government finally accepted the auditor general's criticism, looked into the matter and had the Standing Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts review it, it became clear that something had to be done and the government acted.
Personally I feel the government has gone too far. It put in some strict rules that ultimately led to something everyone will see on their income tax form this year. They will see a foreign asset declaration section. Never in the history of the country has an income tax form been used to find out where everybody's assets are offshore. Because of this overreaction the government has put it in the income tax forms. It was done prematurely, with arrogance and with anticipation that the bill would pass and it has not passed. It is not even law.
Now we have confusion across this land. This will simply ensure the Canadian taxpayer will become more frustrated and angrier than ever with our taxation policies. Instead of simplifying our tax policies the government continues to complicate them in such a way that I think more money will go into the underground economy and more money will go offshore because of high levels of taxation.
More people will start investing in tax free jurisdictions through tax exempt companies. They will put their after tax dollars into those tax exempt companies. There are people from tax haven countries who tour across the country and advise people on how to do it. It is legal. Because of our high levels of taxation that is what will happen.
They set up a lot of people, a lot of Canadian companies. Large corporations have set up their head offices offshore so they will not have to report their income to the Canadian government. If Canadians are able to make investments in tax exempt companies legally with after tax dollars as the money grows and accumulates in whatever it has been invested in offshore; if they do not take a dividend; and if they do not take a salary, they can still live in Canada and enjoy our wonderful health care and education systems, which are shrinking thanks to the Liberal government.
Then what happens? The offshore money grows tax free. They can reinvest the offshore money tax free. Does that not sound like a good idea? More Canadians will look at that. They will find that it appeals to them, that they like it, that they enjoy it. They will do it. That is where they will invest their money. That is what will happen.
Fewer and fewer Canadians every day have disposable income, including the Liberal Party whip who I know has some problems meeting his financial obligations in his household these days because he is taking home today much less money. I am making the same salary except for the whip money. He is taking home $3,000 less today than he was four years ago thanks to his own government. I hope he finds he can make ends meet with $3,000 less. In his tax bracket that is what the government and the finance minister have cost him.
Why are Canadians investing offshore? I made a list of why I think more people will invest less in companies in Canada and will go elsewhere because of the growing global economy. Here is what most Canadians feel about our country's taxation system. The current system is not fair. People perceive it to favour the rich and politicians at the expense of hard working taxpayers.
People question the value for money they are getting from politicians who do not know how to invest their money and do not have the business acumen to invest in businesses. Why are government officials investing in businesses and competing with the private sector? We could look at the bungling of the Pearson airport and the huge grant to Bombardier of over $1 billion over the years. This past year the company made a $400 million profit.
The Saskatchewan Conservative Party is being raked over the coals and being sent to jail for misuse of funds and raising money the wrong way. These are the things that scare people.
Let us look at the changes to the RRSPs for retired people. Now they have changed it from 69 to 71. Reducing taxes is difficult. Because of our confusing, complicated and convoluted Income Tax Act there is a fine line between tax avoidance which is legal, taking advantage of the loopholes, the exemptions and everything that is there, versus tax evasion. I have no respect for those who are guilty of tax evasion. Our bureaucracy in Revenue Canada is huge and costs a lot of money.
Yesterday in the public accounts committee we were reviewing the issue of large corporations. Of the large corporations there are 6,000 plus 200 super huge conglomerates that they audit 100 per cent every year. I asked whether any of them ever got through without having to be reassessed. The answer was not one.
That does not mean these people are trying to evade taxes. It means they are trying to avoid taxes wherever they can legally but there is always a difference of opinion. Five or six people disagree.
There is a reluctance to address debt. I could go on and on, but before my time is up and since I am having a hard time getting everyone's attention I move:
That the House do now adjourn.