Madam Speaker, before I start today, I would like to wish our Orthodox community a happy Easter.
Today, I will be addressing the Liberal government's recently proposed federal budget for 2022. The budget presented an opportunity for real action on serious issues facing Canadians when our country is in desperate need of prudent financial planning. The cost of living is sky rocketing, the housing market remains out of reach for families, and vulnerable Canadians are in serious need of support.
In the community of King, home prices from February 2020 to February 2022 have increased by 142%. In Vaughan, prices increased by 57%. My community of King—Vaughan has become unattainable. The Liberal tax-free savings plan is not going to benefit first-time homebuyers with the rising cost of homes, and the Liberal finance minister has proposed a strategy described by Scotiabank's economic director as “spend, tax and pray”.
With the new NDP-Liberal coalition, Canada expects a $52.8-billion deficit for the coming fiscal year, and the finance minister apparently has no plans to balance the books until 2027. This comes as no surprise. With the Liberals in power, we have grown to count on excessive debt and the instability that comes with it. Having to appease the NDP, fiscal responsibility has gone out the window, further fuelling the affordability crisis. Only a few short years ago, the Prime Minister was praising the value of balanced budgets. Who would have thought the Prime Minister would return to his old ways of thinking and would favour budgets that do not balance themselves?
The central bank has started lifting its benchmark interest rate to combat record inflation exacerbated by the Liberals' financial incompetence. Although the increase in rates will help slow inflation, it has already hiked the cost of paying off the enormous debt we have accumulated. We are presently paying over $2 billion each month to service the national debt, and this burden will continue to expand with each hike.
Higher liability payments will make it more difficult for the federal government to weather new storms, follow through on promises and invest in Canadians. If the bank continues increasing rates above 2.5% as some predict, families that recently secured a variable-rate mortgage could see their payments increase by over 30%. The Liberals have been promising since 2015 to make housing prices more affordable, but the average house price has doubled since they took office. More expensive mortgages will not help anybody afford a new home, and the Liberals' plan of a new tax-free first home savings account will not assist Canadians with achieving their dream.
This NDP-Liberal budget also failed to address the needs of our seniors. Seniors 75 and older recently received a one-time $500 payment as part of the Liberals' election strategy campaign. A question remains, though: Why were seniors aged 65 to 74 excluded from this benefit? Seniors who planned on retiring now may be forced to continue working as the cost of living makes the prospect of retirement unattainable. Our seniors have contributed to our economy their entire lives and are now faced with the tough choices of their next employment opportunities in an effort to combat the cost of living.
As the primary health care providers, the provinces have asked the federal government for an additional $28 billion in health transfer payments, but this was not included in the budget. Instead of more money for hospitals and nurses to help care for our elderly parents and our children with disabilities, there is no option available to them once their parents are no longer able to care for them. The Liberals are caving in to the NDP's outrageous multi-billion dollar dental proposal. Dental care is under provincial jurisdiction, but not one province has asked for the federal dental care program, including the NDP in British Columbia.
In addition to physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on the mental health and well-being of millions of Canadians. I have personally spoken with parents of children with disabilities who say they are in dire need of support. On top of letting down adults with disabilities by failing on their promises to reintroduce a disability benefit, the Liberals are failing to address the needs of children with special needs. Although funding for mental health support is being expanded in general, the Liberals are seriously missing the mark when it comes to caring for the physical needs of our country's most vulnerable.
Finally, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts that Canada will be the worst-performing G7 country over the next 40 years. Based on this estimate, young Canadians entering the workforce today should expect to spend the majority of their working life in the slowest-growing economy. Is this the expectation we now have of our federal government?
Conservatives understand this is shocking, depressing and utterly unacceptable for the resource-rich nation we call home. The Liberals and their NDP colleagues are squandering our hard work and our children's future, as there is no serious plan for long-term growth in this budget. Conservatives will stand up for Canadians who want a better future, as the government's budget is not the best road ahead for our country.