Question in the House: Government Spending Wasted on Private Consultants To Cut Services

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending $90,000 a day for a high-priced outside consultant to plan service cuts. These cuts will have a direct and negative impact on Canadians, especially in rural regions. Seniors without Internet access and with limited access to public transit are being left behind by the government.
When will the government realize that paying private contractors top dollar to do its dirty work while short-changing seniors is certainly not the change Canadians were looking for?
Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the deficit reduction action plan is necessary as we move on the fiscal track to balanced budgets. The member opposite should know that there is some waste in government, that it is possible to review programs, that not every program should go on forever, that sometimes there are new programs, sometimes there are programs that have completed their usefulness.
Certainly, it is the obligation of government to get the best advice we can, including the advice we will get from outside consultants. As I said, for every $1 spent on experts, we expect $200 of savings.