Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his excellent question.
Take for example the 360 hour threshold. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Kevin Page, estimated the cost of that measure, if implemented, at $1.148 billion, which is well below the $4 billion suggested by the Conservatives.
Another cost, and the highest, would be associated with raising the benefit rate from 55% to 60%, as forecasted when the Liberal Party was in government and, later, under the Conservatives. This benefit rate increase from 55% to 60% would apply across the board. This cost, which is the highest, is $1.2 billion.
Is there money for that? When the cutbacks started, the premium rate was $2.20. Today, it is $1.76 per $100 of insurable earnings. Yet, surpluses continue to be accumulated. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have pursued a conservative policy, maintaining premiums to a minimum, thereby limiting benefits.