Mr. Speaker, this is the House of Commons and not the locker room.
Let me say that we have been advocating the hiring tax credit for small business and the accelerated capital cost allowance and pushing for a minister responsible for FedNor, so I want to recognize that there are items in this budget that respond to some of the proposals we made. However, I want to take a broader view, because we have just heard the budget now.
Again the minister and the Prime Minister have promised to focus on jobs as their priority, yet we see the government pushing ahead with job-killing austerity measures. We have no new measures to create jobs. We have a shell game when it comes to training funding. The minister said he would not cut transfers to provinces or individuals, yet he is plowing ahead with cuts to pensions, health care and EI and ignoring the serious threats facing our economy.
Let me make a point that has been recognized by the IMF, by the World Bank and by many economists around the world, which is that we cannot cut our way to growth. The deficit we are facing was not caused by government spending. Rather, it was the recession that caused the deficit, and curing the recession will lead to curing the deficit. Therefore, we need to be focused on jobs, improving wages and getting more taxes into the government coffers through better jobs and more employment—in other words, by putting people to work. There is no need to trample on government services or take serious austerity measures, which can simply make the recovery more difficult and make any downturn even worse.
We are concerned that the government is cutting the money that is going to infrastructure, because it is not taking inflation into account. I appreciate that inflation is low, but there is still an increase to the cost of living every year, and by the time this money is rolled out, it will mean a reduction of the moneys that have already been in place.
I appreciate that the minister has not been great in projecting growth targets—he missed his 2012 target by 35%—and we appreciate that we are in difficult global economic times that present serious challenges. However, we do not believe that the way forward is through austerity. It creates more insecurity. We believe the way forward is through strong job creation.
I do want to more fully respond to the budget, but I will do so later.
Therefore, I move:
That the debate be now adjourned.
(Motion agreed to)