Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the debate and surely the Liberal member who just spoke is not denying that workers and employers have made contributions to the EI fund that are far in excess of what is needed to survive any economic cycle of downturn.
It is clearly documented that the overcharges have contributed about $3 billion a year to the fund, and sometimes it has been even more. In the 10 years since the Liberal government took office, the so-called surplus in the EI fund is in excess of $40 billion. Numerous studies have suggested that those contributions should be dovetailed more closely to the economic reality of what it takes to survive an economic downturn. That means that the EI premium rates for workers and employers need to be decreased and they needed to be decreased several years ago. The fact remains that the Liberal government has taken over $40 billion more than it needed from the employers and employees, which has contributed to this huge overpayment.
As we know, the EI premiums go into general revenue, so there is no fund because the government has spent it on other things.
I would ask the member to admit that there has been overpayments from these two groups in excess of $40 billion in the last 10 years.