Mr. Speaker, governing is all about making choices. None of the choices that confront governments is ever particularly easy, but when it comes to making the budget, one has to decide where the priorities lie.
The Conservative government for the last year or so has been telling us that its priority is around untendered jet aircraft, larger jails and extra corporate tax cuts. Those appear to be the main items, certainly the biggest spending items, on its agenda.
The Liberal Party suggests that as we come out of recession, as a lot of middle-class Canadian families are struggling with the highest level ever of household debt, that it is time to give those middle-income families the priority, the attention and the break. After all, the large corporate sector in the country has already had a 35% tax cut.
We would put our emphasis on issues like home care, education, family caregiving and pensions. We would try our best to control the burden of payroll taxes. As the hon. gentleman just said, a payroll tax kills jobs. While the government claims to be reducing income taxes for corporations, it is increasing the payroll tax burden for every small business in this country by a combined total over the next four years of $16.6 billion, and that will kill jobs in this country.