I stand corrected, Madam Speaker; the member for Hochelaga says it can happen once or twice.
Despite its constant refrain about the middle class and those working hard to join it, it seems like all of the decisions made by this government actually benefit the top 1%, the very elite to which the finance minister belongs. I will come back to this.
The Liberal government brags that it has helped middle-class Canadians by lowering the tax rate for some of them. However, bear in mind that the Liberal tax cut primarily benefits people earning at least $120,000 a year. Anyone who earns less than $45,000 a year falls under their radar. They do not exist. People who earn $30,000, $35,000, or $42,000 a year do not fit in the Liberal Party's definition of the middle class and do not need help. Bear that in mind, because it is important to remember that the people who benefited most from the personal income tax rate adjustment scheme were those earning more than $120,000 a year. It is unbelievable.
Furthermore, the Liberals broke their promise to put an end to CEO stock-option tax loopholes, which cost us $800 million a year. The Liberals are not going to go after CEOs or the richest 1% because that would mean going after their Bay Street buddies. Instead they will keep picking on the little guy.
Not only is the tax cut utterly laughable, as it will not help the low-income Canadians who need help the most, but a tax loophole that benefits CEOs remains untouched, and Canada is still doing business with tax havens.
In March, the NDP moved a motion in the House, and all of the Liberal Party members voted in favour of it. Among other things, the motion called on the government to take a close look at all of our tax treaties with tax havens, such as Barbados and the Cayman Islands. The Liberals went ahead and did that. Then they said the list was incomplete and that there might be one more to add to it.
The NDP was so naive. We thought the Liberal vote meant the government would shorten the list of countries with which it does business, but the government is actually making that list longer. It added the Cook Islands, a British protectorate down around New Zealand whose corporate tax rate is zero. People who stash money there pay no tax. Then they bring it back to Canada, claim that it was taxed in another jurisdiction, and avoid paying tax in Canada.
Here is a very conservative estimate I am sure my friends will like: every year, we lose between $5 billion and $8 billion because of tax havens. Those numbers come from Statistics Canada. It is probably much more than that because we have no real way of knowing.
In that same vein, the Liberals never attack people who take advantage of the system and use the personal income tax rate, the CEO loophole, and tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. What do the Liberals do instead? They introduce Bill C-27, a direct attack on our country's employee pension plans, which were negotiated in good faith with employers. These pension plans provide employees with a guaranteed amount once the employees reach old age. These are defined benefit pension plans, which means that these people know that they can count on getting a certain amount every month on retirement. This allows them to budget for expenses such as rent and vacations, and for helping out their grandchildren financially when they go to university.