Mr. Speaker, after this evening's shenanigans or Shawinigans, whatever it is, both words are synonymous, pulled by this arrogant, weak, lazy Liberal government with no vision, I rise on behalf of the people of Surrey Central to speak to Private Members' Bill C-502.
Bill C-502 seeks to allow mechanics to deduct the cost of tools from their income tax. It will allow them to write off the costs of a set of tools which they need to work.
This bill is virtually the same bill as one previously submitted by a Reform Party member, the hon. member for Lakeland, in the previous session. The hon. member for Elk Island spoke to that bill. Unfortunately that bill was deemed non-votable despite receiving the broad support of all opposition parties, but not the support of the arrogant, weak, lazy Liberal government with no vision.
Many mechanics, perhaps around 100,000 in Canada, are expected by their employers to provide their own tools. In fact mechanics, including auto body mechanics, cannot even apply for certain jobs unless they have their own tools. If their tools are not good tools, it may affect them in terms of their job performance. It may affect them in terms of being able to keep their job. If they do not have good tools, they may not be working under safe conditions. If their tools are not good enough or are limited in quantity, they try not to let anyone find out about it because they are afraid of losing their job.
Mr. Richard Denniston, a constituent of mine in Surrey Central, told me that auto technicians have to spend at least $20,000 on tools and upgrading their tools.
Mechanics are not like many other workers who simply show up for work with the appropriate clothing. Mechanics are special. They need to show up for work with the tools they can use and trust.
The purpose of Bill C-502 is to offer an incentive for mechanics that will encourage growth and job creation in this sector of our economy. “Give us the tools so we can do the job” is all the mechanics are saying. The bill will treat mechanics in a similar fashion, in a fair manner, as other professionals and tradespeople.
Many self-employed people are allowed to claim as deductions the items they require to provide a particular service. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, real estate agents and small business people can write off the tools of their trades, whatever they may be. They are deductible. If doctors hire additional staff, they can deduct it from their taxes. If dentists buy new equipment, they can deduct it from their taxes. It is only mechanics who cannot.
Mechanics have to use their tools to keep their jobs. Others can claim these expenses on their income tax returns, but mechanics cannot. Why would we deny mechanics the ability to obtain the proper tools, the tools they say they need to earn a living?
This is consistent with the Reform Party's tax relief policy for individuals, families and businesses. This bill would give tax relief to young people entering the job market or those making a career change for securing potential employment. The Reform Party has always supported measures that lower the tax burden of Canadians. This includes virtually any measure anytime that would force this arrogant lazy Liberal government to lower taxes instead of raising them.
Taxes have been raised by the government 37 times, to the tune of about a $42 billion increase in revenue since 1993. That comes to $2,020 per taxpayer or $1,123 per Canadian. It is a huge amount of money to those people who are working harder and harder to pay taxes to the government.
The government raised the CPP premium, the largest tax increase in Canadian history.
We also know the effect of bracket creep. It is sending tax dollars to the government's coffers when Canadians are paying taxes. High taxes kill jobs. The government balanced the budget on the backs of the taxpayers.
The government is so pleased to give subsidies to businesses. Now it is going to give subsidies to American businesses through Bill C-55 which was voted on.
I will not take much time of the House because outside the House something very important is happening. Democracy is speaking. Grassroots reformers are speaking out. They will show Canadians what grassroots democracy means. No other party in the House practises democracy.
The Reform Party supports this important noble idea as a temporary measure until the entire Income Tax Act can be reformed into a flattened and lower tax regime without exemptions.