When the minister brought down his budget a few weeks ago there was general comment not only by members of this house but also throughout the country and particularly in the press that the minister was playing Santa Claus to the taxpayers with respect to forgiving half of last year's income tax. Many newspapers then made the suggestion that it must be an election budget. It it rather surprising now, when the minister seeks to have his budget approved by the committee, that we are having a continued debate asking him to reduce taxation in each item as it comes before the committee. We started yesterday afternoon with resolution 1; we did not finish that until shortly before six o'clock to-day; now we are starting resolution 2, and at the rate we are going it seems doubtful if we shall finish resolution 2 to-day.
Income War Tax
A year ago we had a great deal of discussion, particularly from the opposition, to the effect that there should be a total war effort. Now, when the minister is trying to raise the money to pay for that effort which has been achieved, we have a concerted movement from the same quarter asking him to reduce taxation here and there. We have had one question after another, and the same item referred to time and again. If anyone looks over Hansard he will see where the minister has answered the same question three or four times.
The last speaker raised the question of $3,000 invested income. The minister has already answered that; why should the same question be asked time and time again? Then some speaker said that there was no distinction between investment income and earned income. Take a person who is receiving over $3,000 investment income, sitting doing nothing. Am I to be told he is earning it, as much as the labourer on the farm earns the $500 or $600 a year he is paid? I say there is a difference between investment income and earned income, and we would do well if we gave the minister more support instead of asking him to reduce taxation in connection with every item that comes up.
Topic: S, 1913