Madam Speaker, obviously there is quite a bit of surprise and disgust in the House at what we have just seen take place from the government side. This is the second time that we have had the invocation of closure on the same bill. The Liberals did not want to let every member who was interested speak to it at second reading, and they do not want to let every member interested in speaking now speak to it at report stage. It is critical that we have a full airing and discussion of the bill.
Perhaps not every bill before the House requires the same amount of debate and discussion, but this is one of critical importance. This is a piece of legislation that will kill jobs, that will kill businesses, that will make it harder for families to make ends meet. This is a bill that very much ignores what ordinary people and business leaders are telling us in the House we need to do. Rather than giving it a proper airing, rather than having a full discussion, again we have a notice of closure motion, and I know we will be discussing this further tomorrow.
As I reflect on the points that I wanted to make, I appreciate that unlike many members on this side of the House, I will actually have an opportunity to speak to this. When I think about this, as I think about many of the other bills that we discuss, I think about my children. My daughter Gianna is three and a half, and my son Judah is just over one, and I think about what the bill will mean for them in the long term, as they move eventually into adulthood, as they try to live well economically and in other respects, and as they move toward retirement. What can I do, as a legislator, that will pass on the best possible country to my children?
That means having a strong society, a strong culture, but what can we do when it comes to the economic sphere that will position my children well? I think we can do what we know builds to a strong economy. We can encourage the kind of economy that is growing, that is creating jobs and opportunities. That does not mean an economy in which the government controls everything. That means an economy in which we have a robust private sector that is creating jobs and opportunity for my children and for other people, now and into the future.
The fundamental mistake of the bill is that if we care about people's well-being, about people's economic situation, and we care about their retirement, the natural conclusion of caring is control. If the government cares about people's retirement, it has to control it. It has to take more of their money and put it aside for them. Our view, as the Conservative Party, is unique within the House, in that we believe that caring does not require control. We can care about the economy and yet recognize that a strong economy requires a strong, and, to some extent, regulated, but not an overly controlled private marketplace, because that is where wealth and opportunity are generated. That is where the creative ideas that spur economic growth come from. That is the source of the innovation that will allow my children to have a better standard of living than I do. It is a strong private sector that creates those long-term opportunities.
Repeatedly, we are accused by other members of the House of not caring about retirement, of not being interested in a stronger retirement situation for our seniors. However, the difference is not one of caring; it is one of control. We understand that just because we care does not mean we need to control. In fact, the best expression of care for people's well-being in the context of the economic realities we experience, is giving people control over their own retirement, but at the same time giving them the tools that allow them to succeed and do well. That can mean, as we did when we were in government, strengthening tools like the OAS. It can mean providing significant tax cuts for seniors, bringing in income splitting for seniors. As we committed to in the last election campaign, it was having a single seniors tax credit. We significantly increased the age exemption, for example. We brought in a full host of tax reductions for seniors that allowed seniors to live in a stronger economic position.
However, caring does not mean controlling. We cared, and we handed control over to individual seniors in terms of their own retirement. That was our own unique approach, but other parties believe that if we care, we have to then advocate for more government involvement.
Then, when we advocate for this balance between the existing CPP as well as stronger savings vehicles and tax cuts for seniors, they say that we must oppose the CPP in its entirety, as if there is this inescapable binary between the big expansion the Liberals have proposed and complete abolition on the other. No, we think that we have a system that is working fairly well, not perfectly, but that the enhancements can come in really identifying those who need the help the most and providing them with core supports and tax reductions, but always leave our seniors in control of their retirement and do not put in the process undue burden on our businesses. This is the connection. In trying to control people's retirement, the government is raising taxes on small business. It is introducing new higher payroll taxes for our small businesses. This will hurt economic growth. It will kill jobs, kills businesses, and reduce opportunity. It will reduce the opportunities that are available for my children and everyone else's.
I want to make another specific point about the contradiction in the logic that we are seeing from the government. On the one hand, the Liberals are introducing a carbon tax. They say that a carbon tax is necessary to reduce carbon. They say that if we do not like something, we should tax it in order to reduce it. That is their argument. On the other hand, today we are debating a bill where they would increase the tax on employment. Therefore, if their view is that a tax is a disincentive, then surely that applies as much in this case as it applies in the case of their arguments with respect to a carbon tax. They cannot have it both ways. If a carbon tax is their strategy for reducing carbon, then what is a tax on employment but a transparent measure that will certainly, perhaps not intentionally, be a measure that will have the effect of reducing employment?
On this side of the House, we oppose increasing taxes on Canadians. We strongly oppose this new tax on employment. We think we can more effectively support people by giving them the resources themselves. We also oppose the carbon tax. It will reduce production and hurt the economy, and it will not actually increase the efficiency of production. It will simply chase those emissions across borders. It will not have the impact that the Liberals desire. However, the Liberals really have to reconcile in terms of their own economic logic whether or not they think a tax is a disincentive. If they think a tax is a disincentive in the case of carbon, then the same principle exactly applies when it comes to employment.
Finally, I want to underline that we have a choice here. We have advocated strengthening private savings vehicles and providing tax reductions as an alternative that helps current and future seniors, but does not hurt our economy. One of the major advantages of private savings is that it actually allows people to use those savings in a more flexible way throughout their lives.
Most people I know save for different major projects throughout their lives, which then helps them economically in the future. People might save up for post-secondary education. That post-secondary education allows them to have a greater earning potential. Then they save up to buy a home, and they might save up for a small business, or for some kinds of personal investments, which then build up to that savings for retirement. They can realize the value of that education throughout their life, with that home if they choose to sell it, or perhaps if they choose to sell that small business.
Therefore, private savings give individuals greater flexibility whereas a government-controlled savings mechanism, like the Liberals are talking about with higher taxes and then future disbursements, means that the government is taking money away from people, and they do not have the opportunity to use those savings throughout their life. They do not have the opportunity to make those investments, get an education, a home, or a business, which are things that help them and generate a stronger economy.
As I think about my children, Gianna and Judah, and what this bill means for them, I am going to strongly oppose the bill knowing that we are better off caring but not controlling.