Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing for me to hear that the member wants to stifle debate on the budget, probably the most important item. However, I would simply ask him to clarify his statement with regard to what he described as income splitting for pensioners. It is pension income splitting, not income splitting because pensioners do earn other income that is not from a registered plan.
I would also suggest to him that 70% of seniors do not have registered pension plans. In fact, the personal exemption at the lowest rate is $36,500 plus the $2,000 pension income deduction. It means that this will only benefit those who have a pension income of over about $40,000.
When we take that into account, as well as where the other spouse has some pension income, the calculations from the experts before the finance committee have indicated that only 14% of seniors will benefit at all from pension income deduction.
This was brought in as a measure to distract from the fact that the government broke its promise on income trusts and decided to tax income trusts when it said it would not. Somehow $25 billion of the value of pension assets of about two million Canadians were wiped out permanently by that broken promise.
How does the member rationalize that a benefit to some high income pension earning seniors, only 14% of all seniors, is somehow an appropriate offset to the extraordinary damage done to over two million Canadians when the government broke its promise and taxed income trusts?