Mr. Speaker, I am going to rise and make a few comments on this particular motion. I happen to serve on the finance committee with the hon. member who has proposed the motion, and one of the things I have learned in the short period of time I have had to work with the gentleman is that he is a very effective and convincing speaker. I found out today that he is also very creative, because this is a nice way to get another 30 minutes of debate on the budget that maybe there was not time for during the regular debate. I know I got squeezed out of my time for speaking, so I will take this opportunity to make a few comments that relate to this particular motion.
I will support what the hon. member is proposing, but probably for entirely the opposite reasons that the member raised in proposing this motion. I am all in favour, on our committee, of having many different opportunities to examine and study various legislation, and if this particular initiative ends up giving us more opportunity to go into various parts of this legislation in depth, I am certainly all in favour of it.
I also look forward to perhaps having the chance to ask some of our witnesses some questions that I think the government has failed to answer. I will give a couple of examples.
I had the opportunity, during my few brief moments on the budget address, to talk a bit about this middle-income tax cut that the government is proposing. It is the kind of thing that I always like to refer to as a lot of smoke and mirrors.
The government members continue to talk about this so-called middle-class tax cut. My hon. colleague raised the point that clearly this is not a tax cut necessarily for the portion of the tax-paying public who are probably most in need of a tax cut, and that is a point our committee could certainly take the time to review.
In addition to that, when we run the numbers on this particular tax cut and calculate the average savings that this tax cut would provide to the average so-called middle-class Canadian, it works out to about $540 annually. That is from the numbers that were provided by the government's own finance department. If we take that $540 and divide it by 365 days in a year, that ends up being about $1.25 a day.
We all know what $1.25 a day will buy. As I started to say before I got cut off in my budget address, if we took an average couple, at $540 a year or $1.25 a day, at the end of the week that couple might be able to go to Tim Hortons on a Saturday morning and actually have a couple of cups of coffee. That is really what that so-called middle-class tax cut would do.
We continue to hear from the government about what it is doing for the so-called middle class, but really the substance is not there. If we could actually take that out and pull it aside and have the government members on the finance committee talk less about their so-called middle-class tax cut, that would help our deliberations at the finance committee immensely. Then, of course, we could spend a bit more time talking about the merits of the tax-free savings account.
I listened intently to the member's comments in proposing this motion. He was talking about the tax-free savings account and criticizing it because people could actually put things like stocks and actual investments that were going to make some money into this tax-free savings account, as though somehow that was illegal or not correct.
The whole point of the tax-free savings account is to manage our money so that it provides us with the ability to retire because it has grown. If we do not put things such as stocks into our tax-free savings account, what is the purpose of having it? We all know that if we put cash in there, it will not grow. The whole purpose of it is to grow.
I would be happy and delighted to debate that point with the member at the finance committee. If we have the opportunity to call some witnesses, I would be more than delighted to have that discussion with them as well.
In summary, I am quite happy to support the motion as proposed by my colleague. However, I would make it clear that I support it for entirely different reasons than he has stated.