Mr. Speaker, in 1993 when the Liberal Party came in, 33¢ of every dollar was borrowed money, from the Conservative-Mulroney group. Therefore, it was because of strong fiscal management on our side that we were able to eliminate the deficit and pay down the debt.
No other government in the history of this country has ever inherited such a good fiscal performance as the current government has, because of the work we did. We were determined to work with Canadians, and Canadians understood that we could not continue to borrow money and live beyond our means. By eliminating the deficit by 1996-97, we were able to invest savings. When we pay down the debt, which obviously is still too high, we save about $3 billion-plus a year in interest alone. That again is due to the work of the previous Liberal government.
I commend my friend on the other side for recognizing the work that was done by previous Liberal governments. I would suggest to him, however, that the present government needs to invest in our cities and communities, because if the government does not do that we will continue to see reports like the one on the $123 billion situation. It is important. It is vital.
Again, I am very concerned. I do not want this way in which the members on the other side have been spending money in terms of the GST and all of those things, which costs the treasury $5 billion to $6 billion a year alone. We do not want to go back into a deficit. What if the economy slows down and we go into a deficit? Deficits are very easy to get into and extremely difficult to get out of. We do not want to see that again. We ask for some prudence on that side.
In terms of the government's little GST announcement, unless one is buying a yacht or some expensive vehicle I suggest that there would not be a lot of money saved. It costs the treasury $5 billion to $6 billion per year in order to take 1% off the GST.