Well, if I had, it would have been a lot better than the one brought down on Monday night. I suggest that the hon. Member concentrate his chirping on the Minister of Health and Welfare, who he says has ruined the tobacco industry, and we will be a lot better off. Perhaps he had better keep quiet and get back to hockey, about which he has not been too successful in the last few years.
A married taxpayer with two dependants earning $3,000 a year will benefit by .82 cents a day, but I will not pursue these figures because they have all appeared in the press. I simply suggest that according to the business indicators the problems facing the Canadian economy suggest that in the durable goods area-refrigerators, washing machines, and that type of thing-there may be, though I hope the indications or prophecies are wrong, something of a softening in demand for these items during the last part of this year. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that no finance company in Canada, no matter how bitter the competition may be, will finance a refrigerator on a payment of $25 a year, which is the maximum amount that can be achieved as a result of any of these tax deductions presented to us in the budget. So, having looked at these figures I do not quite follow the Minister when he says that this is an expansionary budget.
As a matter of fact, I think the head of the Globe and Mail bureau in Ottawa, George
April 28. 1985
Bain, wrote a very humorous column this morning, in which he referred to the fact that a married man with two dependants under these income tax savings would save $3 a year. If he was lucky and lived long enough he could tuck the first $3 under the mattress on the bed, keep it there, and at the end of the second year he could bring it out and he would be able to spend $5 to buy one of these Canadian Development Corporation shares certificates which the Minister mentioned the other night, and he would have $1 left over to buy something else.
Hon. Members talk about $265 million as being a very round figure, which appeals tremendously. They talk about $175 million in one year, which to me is an awful lot of money, more than I can contemplate. When you talk about two cents or three cents or four cents you are talking in a language which I can understand and which the average taxpayer can understand. That is why I said, and said quite sincerely, on budget night, and I say it again, that with all due respect to our intelligent pundit friends up above us, this is not an election budget. If it is, then the Liberal party is much more bankrupt than I realized was the case, because this certainly will not appeal to the voters.
I must say that the public relations boys, the public relations officers in the Minister's Department, have done a very good job in selling this Budget, according to the headlines which appeared in the press the following morning and the publicity given to it on radio and television. If one believes the rumours which circulate around this place, although one necessarily discounts 90 per cent of them, one would be encouraged to believe that the Minister of Finance is the one Minister in the Cabinet who willy-nilly is trying to drag his colleagues into an election, and he may have been influenced by his P.R.O. boys, who to a great extent have suggested that this would be an election budget. If it is, then as I say I doubt very much whether it will have any great appeal for the public.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE