Mr. Speaker, my colleague spoke about tax fairness. If anything, it should be tax complicated. The bill is 542 pages, which further compounds the absurdity of our taxation system.
The government has failed to address two issues of tax fairness, on which I would like the member to comment.
One is what the government calls tax motivated expatriation, in polite terms. We call it sleazy, tax cheating loopholes in the form of offshore tax havens. This does not plug offshore tax havens. It talks about earnings offshore et cetera, but it does not talk about sheltering money offshore to avoid paying taxes altogether. We expected the Conservative government to act on that issue of tax fairness because it was certainly critical when the Liberal government failed to act on it.
The second thing is the government did raise the basic lowest tax rate from 15%, as proposed by the Liberals, to 15.5%. It may seem small, but at the low income level it is serious. The other thing it did was reduce the basic personal exemption, the amount on which no taxes are paid, which means we pay taxes on more of our income. Hardly anybody seemed to notice this.
How can those members possibly say that they lowered the lowest level of taxes when they raised it? Have they considered the impact this had on low income Canadians, when the basic personal exemption went from $9,039 to $8,639 as of July 1, 2006, a $400 lower basic personal exemption?