Mr. Speaker, what the member opposite has said sounds so reasonable, but we should just stop to think about what he has said. He said, “We have programs here and we want to fund them”. I will simply say that if it is a program that is defensible and is necessary, it should be in the budget. That is exactly what I said with the NDP deal. If every one of the things which the government put into its second budget to replace the first one were viable programs that should have been there, that are important to Canadians, why were they not in the budget in the first place so we could plan on it?
The idea of planning on not to spend money that is needed on behalf of Canadians but to use it as a little goodie bag at Halloween or Christmas or during elections is wrong. It is called fly-by-night economics, which I think is the worst kind there could be, and the kind that the Liberal government is guilty of.
I would like to see all those programs very rationally planned so that Canadians know what they can expect. Whether they are farmers or other business people or ordinary taxpayers, Canadians should know what they are getting.
It is time that we had things like income trusts. I wish the government would put to rest all the uncertainty on that issue and say that it will not touch them. In the last years, the Liberals have been musing about changing the rules. It is too late for Canadians who depend on those income trusts to make changes. They are really concerned. That type of thing should not be done. There should be a long term definite plan that Canadians can count on.
Frankly, the idea of using one-third of the surplus for program spending is just another example of lack of planning. The government should be able to plan for what is needed. If there is an additional surplus, as I said before, I agree it should be used for tax reductions, thereby probably increasing government revenue, get rid of the debt, thereby increasing the amount of money that is available for programs by reducing the debt servicing charges. But to have a slush fund that is not defensible at budget time should not be there at taxpayers' expense.