OTTAWA -- Liberal leadership hopeful Martha Hall Findlay is calling for an increase in the GST, once the economy is in better shape.

The former Toronto MP knows her stand risks giving ammunition to the Conservatives, who love to accuse the Liberals of being reckless tax-and-spenders.

But Hall Findlay says Liberals must demonstrate the courage of their convictions and not let fear of Conservative attack ads keep them tongue-tied on controversial issues.

Hall Findlay says most Liberals -- and economists -- opposed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to reduce the goods and services tax, first to six per cent, and then to five.

As a result, she says, it would be hypocritical for Liberals to now refuse to consider raising the GST back to seven per cent.

Hall Findlay says she wouldn't spend the additional revenue but would use it to eliminate the deficit racked up by the Harper government and pay down debt.