Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Finance said yesterday that the middle class had not had a raise in a generation, I thought I would look at his chart on middle-class incomes, which is the first one in his very first budget. It showed that he was almost right. In fact, the loss of middle-class income between 1976 and 1983 was so massive that it actually took 30 years to recover all of that lost wealth. Of course, it was the result of the policies of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who increased debt, taxes, nationalization, and government all around. Does it sound familiar?
This is not the whole story though. The Harper era, according to this Liberal chart, saw the largest increase in middle-class incomes in the last 40 years, with an increase of $5,000 for 11% after inflation, and record low poverty rates.
It is important for the minister to study this chart to learn the mistakes of the previous Trudeau government so as not to repeat them.