Mr. Speaker, I am heartened that somebody who previously served as the government whip is able to distance himself from the Liberal government across the way. I will continue to talk about what the Liberal government has done previously and continues to do.
The Liberal government is hoarding $35 billion in the EI fund. It is unconscionable when not nearly that amount of money is necessary.
I would like to tell the people of Alberta, who I know will undergo a provincial election very soon, exactly what is happening in terms of the EI fund. I also tell all pages in the House of Commons to pay attention because these numbers hold true for province of Ontario. The numbers hold true for those working in Ontario as well as those in Alberta.
Alberta pays $1.8 billion into the EI fund. Alberta takes out $500 million. That leaves in the fund a net $1.3 billion overpayment every year. There are 1.6 million working Albertans. If one does the math it works out to roughly $800 per person. Those numbers carry forward for House of Commons pages as well. They do not earn as much as the average worker because they are part time. If, however, they earned an average wage in the low thirty thousands per year, they would be overpaying to the tune of $800 per year in employment insurance, in terms of what they put in and what they take out in aggregate collectively.
That is inherently unfair when the government is taxing nearly $1,000. Canadians are overpaying in terms of the Canada pension plan. The young people around this room know. I know and the government knows. You know, Mr. Speaker, that in 2017 the Canada pension plan will go bust when the actuarial demographic weight cracks down on it. Yet they are overpaying into the plan.
They and others like them are overpaying into both of these plans, EI and CPP, to the tune of $1,000 or better per year, money they could have in their wallet and spend to their own discretion rather than give to the government. It is wrong.
What I would propose is somewhat controversial so I hope members across the way will listen. Five per cent of someone's wage, whether a janitor or the president of a given corporation or public entity, could be taken and put into a mandatory retirement savings plan, a super RRSP. In that way it would not be collectively wasted. It is not a Ponzi scheme. It is not a pyramid scheme. It is not something that goes into general revenue where people wonder if it will ever come out again.
It would go into individuals' accounts. They would know how much money they put in per year. They would know the rate of return on their investment. They could put it into GICs. They could put it into treasury bills. They could put it into bonds or into any number of instruments. They would know how much they had in aggregate.
If I asked any one of the bright people in the Chamber today, and they should be fairly bright people because they are supposed to be running the country, how much they had contributed over their lifetimes into the Canada pension plan, I bet not a single one of them, not even yourself, Mr. Speaker, would know even to the nearest hundred or the nearest thousand dollars exactly how much they had put into the CPP.
The reason they do not know and you do not know, Mr. Speaker, even though they are supposed to govern this land, is that EI is a collectively held fund. Because they do not have individual accounts they do not know. It is the tragedy of the Commons. Ironic is that statement, tragedy of the Commons.
Another 5% would go to employment insurance. My father has recently retired. I hope he is having a good time and enjoying his retirement years. Maybe he is out doing something a little more enjoyable than watching me on TV. I do not know. If somebody like my father who never collected a day of employment insurance in his life could have the 5% he had set aside in EI rolled over to his pension when he turned 65, then 10% of his lifetime earnings would have been saved and invested for when he retired. That would be fair. It would be just. It would make sure that people were not abusing the worst aspects of the employment insurance system and that they would know it was theirs and was there for them.
I see the security guards around here. I remember that last session the government took money out of their pension fund, the public service pension fund. It scooped billions of dollars out of their pensionable earnings. That was wrong. If they were able to put 5% or 10% aside, they would know how much they were putting in and what they were getting as a return on their investment, rather than having the government take it from them. That would be far more just.
I hope we see that someday, rather than the present system that has all sorts of abuses wrapped up in it. People who work as part time students pay into the employment tax but have no ability to collect it. People who are self-employed and run their own businesses are double taxed, once as an employer and once as an employee.
Liberal members across the way laugh. They are making fun of the students in this room. They are making fun of the security guards who work above them. They are making fun of the people who are self-employed and double pay this tax. They laugh despite the fact that they have $20 billion sitting in their chest that they should not have. It is owed to Canadian taxpayers, not to the Liberals who laugh across the way.