Mr. Speaker, budget 2017 can be called a lot of things, including visionless and empty. It is a budget of broken promises.
During the last election, the Prime Minister promised that in 2017 the budget the deficit would be no more than then $10 billion. It turns out that his $10 billion deficit is actually a $30 billion deficit, three times larger than what he promised.
The Prime Minister promised that the budget would be balanced in 2019. It turns out that in 2019, instead of delivering a balanced budget, the Liberals are on track to deliver a deficit of $23.4 billion. It gets worse. According to the Department of Finance, based on the current Liberal plan, the budget not only will not be balanced in 2019, it will not be balanced in 2029, or 2039 or 2049, not until 2055. That means someone who is born this year or was born last year will be nearly 40 years old before the Liberals get around to balancing the budget.
The Prime Minister promised to invest in infrastructure for things like roads and bridges. He has not. The Prime Minister promised to not increase taxes for middle-class Canadians. Again, it is a promise broken. Budget 2017 increases taxes on hard-working middle-class Canadians by nickel and diming middle-class Canadians; nickel and diming middle-class Canadians by eliminating the public transit tax credit; nickel and diming middle-class Canadians by increasing the price of beer and wine; nickel and diming middle-class Canadians by taxing ride-sharing services, like Uber. Whatever it is, the Liberals are nickel and diming middle-class Canadians. Not only is this budget a broken promises budget, but it is also a budget that nickel and dimes middle-class Canadians.
Before I go on, Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the hon. member for Brantford—Brant. I know my colleague will give a very eloquent speech about why this budget is a bad deal for Canadians.
What is the government's plan when it comes to jobs and growth? It seems like the government's plan is to increase taxes on job creators, on small business owners. Small businesses account for 90% of the companies in Canada. Seventy per cent of the private sector is employed in small businesses. The government is punishing small businesses.
Last year the government punished small businesses by cancelling a small business tax cut. It further punished small businesses when it eliminated a hiring tax credit that would allow small businesses to hire new employees and create jobs. This year the government is punishing small businesses by increasing CPP and EI premiums.
It could not come at a worse time. Right now the U.S. administration is cutting taxes and rolling back red tape. The United States is not only Canada's biggest trading partner, it is also our largest competitor. Increasing taxes on job creators undermines Canada's competitiveness, which in turn undermines Canada's long-term jobs growth and prosperity.
The Liberals just cannot help themselves because they are wedded to a tax-and-spend agenda.
In the last year and a half that the Liberals have been in office, we have seen discretionary spending increased by 12%. That is unheard of. That is unprecedented for non-recessionary times. One might say the Liberals are spending like drunken sailors. However, as President Reagan would say, that would be unfair to drunken sailors.
In my home province of Alberta, while 100,000 Albertans are out of work, the government has virtually turned its back on us. It has turned its back on Alberta by killing pipelines and by attacking the energy sector. The latest attack on Alberta came in budget 2017 when the government eliminated a tax credit for the exploration of new wells. Talk about kicking Albertans when we are down.
For all the spending, for all the deficits, for all the debt, what do the Liberals have to show for it? What they have to show for it is fewer jobs created than projected, less economic growth than projected. The government talks a good game about infrastructure, but what have we seen in infrastructure in terms of new infrastructure funding for things like roads, bridges, airports, ports and railways? How much new funding was provided for in budget 2016? A big fat zero, only to be repeated by a big fat zero for new infrastructure investment in budget 2017.
The government talks about investing in affordable housing, investing $11 billion over 11 years. That number is significant, because the vast majority of the money does not start flowing until 2022, five years from now, and three years after the next federal election. Talk about an empty promise.
With respect to the defence budget, during the last election, the Liberals talked so much about ensuring that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces would have the tools and equipment they needed to keep Canadians safe. When it comes to delivering for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Liberals have come out short. In fact, while they are spending more, taxing more, blowing the budget and spending like drunken sailors, they have managed to cut $12 billion out of the defence budget.
It seems like the return of the decade of darkness is upon us, except the good news is that the Liberals will not have a decade to shortchange our Canadian Armed Forces, because we will be back in 2019.
Broken promises, wasteful spending, higher taxes, massive deficits, massive debt and a failure to fund priority areas, that pretty much sums up budget 2017. It is a failed budget and it deserves to be defeated out of hand.