Mr. Speaker, we already have. I would say that the hissing has been going on for some time. We need to be careful about that.
Something we should know in terms of general principles related to taxation is that any jurisdiction which lowers its taxes will always experience a stimulus effect in the economy. It will always experience growth in the economy, more jobs, more opportunities, more businesses, businesses arriving in that jurisdiction and businesses deciding to stay and invest more. An increase in revenues will be seen going into that jurisdiction. Sometimes, as history notes, it is in the first or second year. Sometimes the revenues are forgone for more than a year, but the jurisdictions with lower taxes will always increase in terms of their revenues.
Let that be a dispelling of the myth which unfortunately some Liberals and others are trying to propagate, that lowering taxes means a weakening of our social structure and our social programs. It does not. It will bring more revenue to government for protection of social programs. If we truly believe in social security, we will be aggressive about lowering taxes.
We can look at history and we can make this non-partisan because I strive daily to make this a non-partisan Chamber and always think of the good of the country. We can talk about JFK, a Democrat, significantly lowering income taxes, and gas taxes would have the same effect, and we can see and track the revenue increase to the government coffers of that day. We can talk about Ronald Reagan, a Republican, so this is non-partisan, and a reduction in taxes and an increase in revenues. There was a corresponding increase in spending, and some say unfortunately especially on the defence side. But definitely and clearly there was an increase in revenues which many economists are now pointing to being the single greatest factor in what appears to be an unbroken approach in the business cycle and a great opportunity that we have seen in North America, unlike at any other time in history.
Moving to Canada, we can talk about Ontario. There is an amazing coincidence between reducing taxes and increased revenues to the government. We can talk about Alberta, which I will be happy to do in some detail in a moment.
We can talk about Ireland which is an Atlantic jurisdiction. For decades it has been very low in terms of productivity, income growth and opportunity. It has taken a very significant approach to the reduction of taxes. Yes, there was some subsidy input at the beginning but it has moved away from that. That gives great hope and opportunity to Atlantic Canada having seen other jurisdictions experience long term growth because of this particular approach. It will always work to lower taxes, increase opportunity and increase revenues to government.
If people do not mind, I will use the Alberta experience. In 1986 to 1993 there was an increase in taxes and a lack of corresponding response in the economy. From 1993 on there was a very significant reduction in taxes and an expansion not just of revenues but of the base economy.
I will tell the House how significant that was. In 1986 the total amount of income from corporate revenue coming from oil and gas in Alberta was 59%, a pretty significant portion of that corporate base. After six years of lowering taxes, from 1993 onward, there was a significant broadening of the base of the economy. New businesses such as high tech businesses came in. We looked at the 1998 results. In terms of reliance on one single resource area, only 21% of revenue from the corporate sector was from oil and gas. The economy was vastly expanded. It happened in Alberta and it is happening in Ontario. It happened in Ireland. It will continue to happen.
People have talked about advantages across the country. Do we not think it is time that we had the Canada advantage? As we look at the possibility of lowering these fuel prices, we are at an all-time high in history of revenues going to the government through various taxes. For the last seven years, over $1 trillion in revenues has gone to the government.
It is interesting to look at some of the comparisons, especially with G-7 and the OECD countries, groups of which we are members. I say this very dubiously but in the G-7 alone we have the proud distinction of having the greatest increase in taxes compared to economic growth of any of those countries. It is 14%. Fourteen per cent is not the amount of taxes individuals pay. As we know, depending on where we live it can be over 50% of our income. Canada has the greatest tax increase versus GDP increase, at 14%. That is not something to be proud of. The United States was only 11.6%, the U.K. was 8.8% and Japan was only 5.9%. These are not things of which we can be proud.
Canada has had the greatest increase in terms of the marginal rates for people moving from low income to middle income. We try to encourage people to move up that scale. However, there is a 14% increase in the marginal rate when they move from low income to middle income. That is disrespect for middle income earners and a significant disincentive.
If we do a comparison of 25 countries in the OECD, which nation had the greatest growth in GDP, the greatest expansion of the economy over the last 10 years? It was Ireland which had a 92% increase in its GDP over 10 years. Where is Canada in GDP growth? Out of the 25 nations, we proudly stand at number 24. We only had a 5% increase in our GDP growth because of taxation policies that are repressive.
If we want to measure in terms of labour productivity which is a very key indicator, one of the nations that leads in labour productivity is the United States. We are at only half of its rate in terms of increase of labour productivity. We are at the bottom of the list of OECD nations in terms of labour productivity. This is a very significant disincentive for our citizens.
With this reality in place, we need to look at where we can begin to send a signal to Canadians that this is a country in which they can work and be proud and labour and receive the rewards of their labours.
Let us look at gasoline taxes and a variety of approaches that we can take. We can look at lowering that excise tax 1.5 cents.
Just today it was recorded in a national newspaper. I do not want to advertise which one it was, but it was posted today in one of those national newspapers that the federal Minister of Finance said that the government has a moral obligation to lower that 1.5 cents off the excise tax, as we have suggested, because in 1995 it was put in place to reduce the deficit. The deficit is gone and the finance minister to his credit said there was a moral obligation to reduce that.
I am glad the Prime Minister wants to talk about values because his finance minister is saying it is a moral obligation, that it needs to be put back. I congratulate members who have talked about doing that and who have recommended doing that.
There is the issue of the GST. This is so insidious. With all the costs that are already on fuels, add on to that provincial taxes, add on to that the excise tax, and then insidiously put on top of that the GST, a tax on a tax on a tax.
It was at the University of Manitoba that Professor Nicolaou did the study in terms of pricing of gasoline. He said that the cascading effect of the GST, the tax upon tax upon tax alone would save Canadians 1.7 cents a litre if the GST was moved down just to below where other taxes are put on.
We are not even going after the Liberals for totally not acknowledging their promise to kill, scrap and abolish the GST. We are saying if they are not going to do that, could they at least move it down so that they are not punching people out at these different levels. We are asking for that.
There are truckers with long term contracts who face the inevitability of losing their businesses and their livelihoods. Let me make it very clear. We are suggesting this change not in the threat of a truckers strike. We talked about this before there was that threat. We are talking about this because it is the right thing to do.
A happy coincidence of moving in this area would be to alleviate the possibility of a truckers strike or slowdown, and also to see families and individuals with a great increase in confidence in their government because it was responding. We need to move that diesel tax downward also.
It is significant to note that small things can lead to great things happening. It was Demosthenes who said that by taking small opportunities one can lead to great enterprises. What greater enterprise than to send a signal of hope from coast to coast to coast?
Who would be affected by that signal of hope? The person who sent me an e-mail from Saudi Arabia who said there are many Canadians over there who consider themselves tax refugees because of the high levels of taxation in this country. It would send a message of hope to people whom I talked to throughout the summer across the country who said because of the Canadian Alliance position on taxes, they were going to delay their decision to move out of the country, or to move their business out of the country in the hopes that we would be elected and form the next federal government.
Let us turn the hissing of Canadians to cheering. Let them cheer the fact and let me invite members of the Liberal government to vote with us on this great motion, to say that they acknowledge that the government has huge surpluses and it is partly as a result of taxing people at too high a rate. The other reason the surplus is there is because of what has happened in a number of provinces that have their fiscal houses in order. They have reduced taxes, have rejuvenated economies and have created surpluses which then of course quite properly are shared with the nation. It is time for great enterprise.
I thank the members who are already indicating they will join in this great enterprise. I invite our Liberal counterparts to join also and send a message of hope and opportunity across this great nation of ours.