Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on this important issue.
I want to take a moment to look at where this started from. It is important to recognize that the corporate tax reduction rate and the agenda for this really started in the year 2000. It was around 29% at that time and since that time it has been reduced to 15%. The consequence is that we have actually stripped ourselves of our fiscal capacity to deal with many serious issues that we have.
At the same time, when we look at value added employment over that period of time, it has diminished and productivity in Canada has gone down. Therefore, the theory that cutting corporate taxes leads to higher productivity, leads to better paying or value added jobs, leads to a panacea, is not true.
Interestingly, I had a paper commissioned last year dealing with this and looking at the most recent round of corporate tax cuts. The TD Bank's forecast deficit for Canada was $171 billion over that period of time. What it found was that roughly we had lost $171 billion. We are really in debt today because we have been reducing corporate taxes at a rate that is not sustainable.
That is important to recognize because we are not getting the investment back in this country. We are witnessing the surplus of our trade being diminished and eliminated while actually becoming a net importer. All the evidence out there pointing to the benefit of just simply reducing corporate taxes is not true.
If we ask corporations if they want a reduction in taxes, of course they will say yes. That is like asking a fish if it wants water. They will want to have that no matter what. It is a simple decision-making process that we require regarding our resources.
It is interesting that since the Conservatives have been in power, and I do want to note this because the member for Outremont noted it a bit, the Bloc Québécois supported the first two Conservative budgets. It had its coalition there. We have had the deepening of the corporate tax cuts come along and now the Liberals have introduced this motion despite them actually supporting the last budget that took place.
What we are doing with this motion, which is rather bizarre and peculiar, is we are being asked to vote against the fact that the Liberals supported the actual original budget. How they can twist themselves in a pretzel around that and come here today is beyond me because it makes no sense. They have a motion today that attacks their own position that they took. That is what is happening.
We are spending the whole day discussing the Liberals and why they want to attack themselves for something they did in the past because it is law. The tax cut reduction of 15% that we have happening is actually law passed in Canada, put by the Conservatives, they were clear on that, and supported by the Liberals. Now they want to go back in time and pretend it did not happen, pretend that they did not understand we were in a deficit.
We knew at that time that we were in a deficit. It was very clear. We had the economic recession. We had a series of things happen and the continued policy was there. We had so many different comments being made by their leaders and their finance critics, and so forth talking about how they wanted them deeper and faster.
It is important when we look at this budget, that we clarify a couple of things on where expenses and revenues will go. A couple of things really come to mind.
First of all, there is the HST money. We are borrowing $5.6 billion to give to Ontario and British Columbia to bring in the HST. We have that being stripped out of the reserves right there. The fact is we are borrowing that money to bring in that policy. What is important to recognize here is that was a shift from commercial taxes to that of consumer and individual taxes. That is what the HST is.
In theory, in the manufacturing and other sectors, it was supposed to eliminate the cascading effect of tax after tax. However, we have yet to see any of that benefit passed on to consumers because consumer products and services have not actually replicated what the HST was supposed to do. We are just paying more. It shifted it. That is critical because that is like a corporate tax cut reduction.
I know the money goes to Ontario and British Columbia. However, if we lived in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, or any of the Atlantic provinces, we should be really upset that we and our families borrowed money to bring in a new tax policy for the residents of two other provinces and we are paying for it. Of those provinces, at least Ontario, where I live, will receive $4 billion out of it. At the same time, we will be paying that back. Talk about a raw deal.
We have discussed the HST in many ways, but talk about a raw deal. Those living in Alberta just subsidized two other provinces bringing in a new ideological tax on consumers that they and their children are going to pay for.
I had an economic paper commissioned to look at the borrowing costs of the HST. If we paid it off in 10 years, and if we get back into a surplus and we have the money to pay it back, which are really big ifs, it is going to cost over $7 billion when we look at the overall borrowing rate. We are going to be spending another $1 billion and borrowing to bring in a new tax on ourselves.
That brings it up, in that budget as well, to $8.6 billion that will be lost out of the revenue from the general coffers to pay for this corporate tax cut that is being implemented. We have $14.2 billion that is going to benefit mostly the private corporations, especially the rich ones. The member for Outremont noted the banks, for example, with their $20 billion profits and $10 billion bonuses that their CEOs got in this last year.
Interestingly enough, we do not follow through, at the very least, like they did in the United States and in the U.K. where they put caps on the bonuses. If we go back to all the problems we have today, it was the financial sector and its mismanagement that brought us to this type deficit problem today.
It was the private sector that brought us this problem. It was the private sector that asked the public sector to bail it out. It is the private sector that continues to ask for all kinds of grants, subsidies, loans and corporate tax cut reductions. We have yet to see the reciprocal happen with regard to increasing employment.
In Windsor we finally actually went down below 10% unemployment. We have been mired in high unemployment. That has nothing to do with a reduction in corporate tax cuts. We continue to undermine ourselves because the vast majority of this money does not get invested back in Canada.
If the Conservatives do not believe us, they can believe their own Department of Finance. Their own Department of Finance talks about job growth when doing corporate tax reductions. It is 20¢ growth for every dollar in terms of a tax cut. However, for infrastructure and other spending, supports for unemployment, we actually get $1.40.
There actually cannot be a better system in place by making other choices. That is what this is about. We are deciding to do what the United States has done. The United States is in serious financial mismanagement because it has been borrowing money for tax cuts for a whole series of things for a number of years. It is unsustainable.
It is unsustainable and inappropriate, and it is also going to cost us. When we talk about social responsibility and the $14 billion gift that the government has given to the wealthiest corporations, and also by bringing in the HST on individuals and consumers, that is money that could go into our environment, training for manufacturing, and a series of different things that would actually benefit this country.
When it comes to the corporations, it is like asking a fish if it wants water. They are going to say yes. Where are the other questions that talk about Canadians? Do Canadians want affordable housing? The answer is yes. Do Canadians want to have a health system that protects them and their families? They are going to say yes. Do Canadians want to have clean energy and clean air to breath for them and their families in the future? They are going to say yes.
How do we do that? We have to have some type of fiscal capacity. I noted a quote earlier from the former Liberal finance critic. He talked about wanting Canada to become the Ireland of North America. There is a country that gutted itself, and has huge fiscal and social problems right now because it cannot even respond.
I would argue that undermining our fiscal capacity undermines our security as a country. When we look at the fact that border and other types of issues that are important for the protection of Canadian citizens are being cut back, we are denying the basic elements of a civilized society, and that is to provide a safe place to live, an open democracy and a future for our children. We are undermining that with unsustainable giveaways to large corporations that do not invest back in Canada.