Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to stand in the House in order to support the bill before us today, Bill C-52.
As many members here know, I have for a long time been very interested in finances, particularly as they pertain to ordinary taxpayers, small businesses and families. This was one of the things that drew me into the parliamentary part of my life.
There are so many things in this bill that I could speak for probably several hours if the rules permitted, but I shall speak only for a short time. I would like to first of all mention my very enthusiastic support for the principle of income splitting for pensioners. This is long overdue.
Particularly in my generation, there were many families that had only a single income and that was our case as well. We made the choice that my wife, the mother of our children, would be a full time mom for our kids. I really value that. I think she probably contributed more to the well-being of our country by doing that than I did going to work every day, even though I may have gotten up at four o'clock in the morning.
I will also mention that we had perfect children. I do not know if other members did, but ours were. I know, for example, that right after they were born, I declared quite seriously that they never cried at night. They never once awakened me. My wife, on the other hand, I think may have some other stories to tell in that regard.
The bill, among other things, would allow income splitting for pensioners which would bring them into a lower tax rate. I think that is very important because most people who have made these choices also have half the income throughout their lifetime and half the pension when they retire. This is really part of the theme of tax fairness.
The other thing that is relevant here is the new tax credit of up to $2,000. Our government, this party and certainly I as an individual recognize not only the value of families raising children but also the tremendous expense that entails. Therefore, having a new tax credit of up to $2,000 is a tangible recognition of that. I applaud our finance minister and our government for introducing measures like that.
The other measure that I also support is making the equality of the spousal deduction equal to that of the single wage earner when there is but one wage earner in the home. It is another very pro-family measure that is being taken.
I do not want to sound in any way negative about this, but the money needed to support a person is really independent of whether or not the person works outside the home. In our experience, my wife actually spent as much money as I did and probably more because she managed our household expenses. As a matter of fact I used to say that we have specialization in our family. I earned the money and my wife spent it. The object of this was for me to be just a little better at my job than she was at hers. However, there definitely are expenses that are involved in the support of a spouse who is not working. To make that basic exemption equal is just a measure of fairness and I support that wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.
Because I believe so strongly and firmly in the merits of the bill, I therefore move:
That this question be now put.