Mr. Speaker, today we are talking about the budget. I think it is important for everybody to know that the Liberals have increased taxes 62 times since they formed the government in 1993. Corporate taxes have increased 27 times. Personal tax increases have gone up 22 times. Bracket creep has increased six times. The Canada pension plan has increased seven times.
We must ask what we are getting for the 62 Liberal tax increases since 1993. That is the question. I have done some research. I would like to report to the House and to the world what types of things the Liberal government has done with those 62 tax increases since it came into power in 1993.
In my riding the Liberal government is subsidizing Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a pretty successful firm. Yet the government has gone ahead and increased taxes on Canadians and is subsidizing an extremely profitable company like Wal-Mart in my riding.
It gets richer. The research goes on. Not only is the Liberal government subsidizing Wal-Mart but it is subsidizing Canada Safeway. How is it fair that IGA, Calgary Co-op or any of the other grocery stores are subsidizing Canada Safeway? That is what the Liberal government is doing. It is raising taxes on everyone to give to the few.
The Liberal government is also subsidizing Shoppers Drug Mart. All these companies are profitable. It has raised taxes 62 times. What is it doing with all this tax money? It is subsidizing all sorts of profitable corporations. Shame on the Liberals for doing these things.
It is not only corporate welfare that the Liberals are subsidizing with their 62 tax increases since 1993. They are funding studies too. They have done research just like I am doing research, but what are they doing research on? What are the Liberals spending our money on?
They want to have studies on lawn ornaments. The Liberals actually had a study done on pink flamingos that are stuck into lawns with our tax dollars. It actually happened. Can we believe that the Liberals would give money to Bombardier? In some respects that almost makes sense because Bombardier is a big funder of the Liberal Party. I will deal with that at greater length in a little while. Why is it that we are subsidizing profitable companies and spending money to study lawn ornaments? It does not make any sense. Why have there been 62 tax increases for taxpayers since 1993 to do such things?
I will go through the individual tax increases and ask whether it makes sense what the Liberals have spent money on. In 1994 the Liberal government increased the tax on energy conservation and pollution abatement equipment, something that would reduce emissions and somehow help the environment as it likes to claim. It brought in $45 million of revenue. On the flip side, what was the government putting the money into? It took the money from one side, and what was it spent on?
The Liberals gave $33,800 to examine major league baseball in Detroit. The last time I checked Detroit was in the United States, but taxpayers in Canada were paying for 62 tax increases to the government since 1993 so that it could give their money away to study baseball outside Canada. The next time people write their tax cheques to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency I want them to think about that.
The Liberal government continued its studies. It spent $100,670, which a lot of tax money for the average taxpayer. As a matter of fact it would take 21 average taxpayers to pay their taxes the whole year in order to fund the interactive study of video games.
Why have the Liberals raised taxes 62 times since they took office in 1993 so that they could spend over $100,000 in 21 taxpayer years to study interactive video games? That does not make any sense. It is totally ridiculous.
Let us look at another infamous Liberal tax increase. In 1995 they brought in a 1.5 cent per litre increase on gasoline, which resulted in a whopping $500 million. What did taxpayers get for putting $500 million more into the Liberal coffers? What did the Liberals wisely invest that $500 million in?
It did not go into roads. Once again, some of the studies show that $44,000 of it went to the social construction of feminist meanings. A lot of tax money came in, but I am guessing the average person who paid the 1.5 cent per litre tax on gasoline did not expect his or her tax money would go to a study on the social construction of feminist meanings. Is it fair for those people to pay those taxes and see them go toward such things? It does not make sense.
Let us look at another of the 62 Liberal tax increases which they have brought in since 1993. In 1995 the Liberals had an additional tax on investment income from private corporations which brought an increased tax burden to Canadians of $120 million. What did the Liberals put all that extra money into? What did the Liberals do with the extra money they were bringing in as a result of all the tax increases in 1995?
They gave $33,000 to promote and develop music in alternative spaces. I ask the average taxpayer to think about that. Is $33,000 for music in alternative spaces something that average taxpayers, if they were the finance minister or the minister responsible, would have thought was a wise investment of taxpayer dollars? Would they have thought it was worthy of a 1.5% per litre increase on gasoline so that Canadians were paying $500 million more into the Liberal coffers? Is that what they were paying their tax increases for? I do not think so.
It goes on, because 62 tax increases takes a while. In 1995 the Liberals increased the corporate surtax which brought in $120 million. They brought the the additional tax on investment income which I have just mentioned. That was another $120 million. They eliminated the deferral of tax on business income for $300 million.
For all these hundreds of millions of dollars what more could the taxpayers possibly expect from the Liberal government? Some 161 different groups, associations and unions received $4,059,235 in grants. For average taxpayers paying more money in income tax and paying more money at the gas pumps for their gasoline when they have seen prices go up dramatically recently was it really wise for the government to spend $24,000 for a film entitled “Indians of Czechoslovakia: Interaction of Indigenous People With Mother Earth?” Was that a wise expenditure of taxpayer dollars?
How about a tax cut? That sounds a lot better to me and I bet that is what my constituents would vote for. As a matter of fact I know that is what they would vote for.
The story goes on. In 1996 the tax increases just kept on coming from the Liberals. They increased the taxes on Canadian pensioners abroad. In Kingston, which is in the Speaker's riding, there may be people who were affected by this. I know it is even worse in Windsor. The taxes on Canadian pensioners living abroad brought in $10 million.
When these pensioners paid the extra $10 million the Liberals levied on them in 1996, what did they get in return? Some $28,000 were spent on a video tracing the history of Chilean poets in Montreal. Was the reason the government went ahead and gouged $10 million from pensioners to fund a video on Chilean poets in Montreal? Was that the rationale?
It goes on. Additionally in 1996 the Liberals froze the contribution limits for RRSPs. More than that, they broke their own promise when they did that. For what good reason did the Liberals break an election promise on RRSP contribution limits? For what good reason did they break the pact that they made with taxpayers when they were elected? They went ahead and gave the Secretary of State for the Status of Women and the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women over $34 million.
Would the average taxpayer say that was a wise expenditure of funds? I think it is pretty questionable? The Liberals went on. In 1996 they forced seniors to begin early withdrawals from their RRSPs. For what reason?