Mr. Speaker, once again that famous question gets asked. Why are we here? What are we doing? We are here to debate Bill C-72, an act to amend the Income Tax Act.
Right there there has to be a problem. Every time the government has amended the Income Tax Act, take hold of your wallet because something funny is about to happen. It is about to get lighter. I can tell the House about all the ways our wallets have become lighter as a result of this government. It is wonderful at finding ways to lighten the Canadian taxpayer's wallet.
First it was life insurance premiums the government went after. It lightened our wallets to the tune of $210 million last year. That is a lot of lightening. It is not only last year, it started off with $120 million in 1994. Add it all up and there has been over $1 billion worth of wallet lightening. That is a lot of lightening.
Then it went after lifetime capital gains exemptions. It did a lot lightening there. Just this last year it lightened our wallets again by $340 million. Then it did income testing for age credits implementation. That was another $300 million. Then there were the deductions with regard to meals. It got rid of that. It changed the definition of income once again, like it is doing today with Bill C-72. It has lightened our wallets by $275 million. Forget calling it lightening of the wallet, it took $275 million.
Then corporations' tax rate increased. It took $160 million and killed some jobs in the meantime. Then it went ahead with a corporate surtax and that increased. That was another $120 million. It killed some more jobs. That is something this government is good at. It is good at lightening the wallet and killing a few jobs along the way. Then it came in with a tax on gasoline. It took another $500 million. Then there was the tax on tobacco. It cannot forget that one. That was another $65 million.
What about the pensions? The government went after that. That was another $10 million. That was just on foreign pensions. Then it went after RRSP withdrawals and took out $45 million. It changed the time when people could put into it. Then look at EI premiums, part time workers, people who cannot collect on EI because they are not full time but they are paying in. It is a tax. If they cannot collect on it and they are paying in it is called a tax. In this last year it has been $1 billion.
When we look at these numbers it is ludicrous. In 1994 it was $370 million. In 1995 it was $808 million. The year after that it went to $1.15 billion. Add all these things up cumulatively. Then look at the bracket creep. The Liberals have raised taxes by billions upon billions of dollars. Any time I see Liberals talk about amending the Income Tax Act I reach for my wallet and I hold it dearly.
I will go on to a few other things these Liberals have been up to. Let us talk about priorities. They are increasing taxes. Liberals know how to do that better than anybody. I do not doubt that. Of any of the parties in the House the Liberals know how to whack at taxes better than anybody around.
We ask ourselves what they do with all this money. They raise our taxes, these Liberals, these people with these grand priorities, these big government schemes, these tax and spenders. What do they spend it on? They discriminate against single income families. That is what they do. They give money out in corporate welfare, profitable businesses. They give out subsidies. They give out grants. They give out tax concessions. Shame on them. None of the competitors for those industries want to see them get a break and get subsidized by the government.
Then there is the waste. My goodness, I was in the human resources development committee and a departmental official came into that committee. The departmental official said there was $200 million they were not going to use in a budgetary envelope. All the Liberals across the way got glum. The Reform Party asked if the departmental officials said there was no use for the money, why not take it out of the budgetary envelope.
All the Liberals lined up like little duckies in a row. They said “It is a ministerial document. If the minister said this was okay, we will not challenge the minister. The minister is all knowing. The minister is all intelligent. The minister must know what is going on”.
The $200 million the departmental official said they would not use got used. Wow, the waste. Then I look at the patronage. When I have people come into my riding office and tell me about OAS clawbacks, when they tell me about being taxed on the money they are setting aside for their children's educations, I have to tell them the Liberals have a higher priority on patronage. Shame on the Liberals.
This is insulting. This is above and beyond. It goes beyond the pale, that they would fund a book on dumb blonde jokes. I see a couple of blonde heads across the aisle. I wonder how they feel about that. I see a couple of female MPs opposite. I wonder what they think about the dumb blonde joke books their government funds. I wonder whether they think that is a good expenditure. Shame on them, and they do not even speak up about it.
Then I look at the canoe hall of fame in the Prime Minister's riding. By what stretch of the imagination is a canoe hall of fame in the Prime Minister's riding more important than seniors pensions or more important than health care or more important than education? A person has to stretch pretty darn far to come up with that type of Liberal logic.
I look at the subsidies they give to bad governments. I am talking about some of the things they do with foreign aid around this place. What do they do? They look at people like Mobutu in Zaire. They gave money to this person who is well known for bad government, for corruption and bad policies. They help to fund weaponry and genocide and all the rest of these things.
Liberals love giving money overseas. I do not know by what logic they do that when they have taxpayers at home who are crying for tax cuts and crying for services they have been cutting back for years.
They are funding roads overseas and yet we have problems with roads in Canada. What a joke in the transportation committee. We are studying intelligent transportation systems. How about the cracks in the highways? Never mind intelligent transportation. Get the noodle working on that.
What about crown corporations? We are giving money to CBC TV. Why? The unions are killing it anyway. What are we doing? The unions will finish off that company.
Then I look at Canada Post competing in e-mail with the private sector, competing in couriers with companies like FedEx and UPS, cutting out from competition companies like T2P overnight in Calgary.
What are we doing taking taxpayer dollars to subsidize businesses to put other people out of the play in the marketplace? Shame on the Liberals.
The Liberals are funding Senate budget increases, an unelected, unaccountable body with people who do not show up for work, with criminal records, violating the law and the Constitution. Yet they are giving them budget increases of 16% over two years. That is where our hard earned tax dollars are going, to the Senate.
I look at section 745. Each appeal under section 745 is costing us on average $500,000. Clifford Olson's appeal cost us over $1 million. That is where the money is going.
With all those tax increases the Liberals are bringing down, every time they feel people's wallets and bring in amendments and redefine what income means, watch out because this is the type of stuff they are spending it on. That is a crying shame.
It would be better to burn that money than give it to the Liberals. They use it against taxpayers. They fund the competition. They put in worse legislation that works against people. That is what they are doing. It would be better to take that money and burn it than to give it to a government which mismanages it and uses it against the taxpayer. It would be better if it were buried. That is the type of thing we have going on here.