Ontario budget 2015: Job-killing pension tax threatens small business

In advance of the 2015 Ontario Budget, CFIB met with key decision makers and policy influencers to share small business owners' provincial budget priorities. Here are some of the key budget points of interest to small and medium-sized businesses:

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)

The government is proceeding with the ORPP, despite CFIB's strong opposition to the proposed payroll tax. CFIB studies show that if implemented, the ORPP would have a devastating impact on Ontario’s small businesses by forcing 70% of them to freeze or cut staff salaries and 53% to reduce positions.

Read about what CFIB is doing to fight the ORPP. Also, find out how much the ORPP will cost you and your employees, or fill out our online petition.

Government spending

The province indicates that it is committed to eliminating the deficit by 2017/18; however, we grow increasingly concerned that the province will not be able to meet this objective because it continues to spend beyond its means and relies on the economy picking up steam to meet its targets.

Apprenticeship training

Small businesses in the skilled trades will feel the impact of this budget with the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit being slashed in half, from $10,000 to $5,000 per apprentice, per year. In addition, the tax credit rate and eligibility period are both being reduced and the government has not addressed high journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios as per CFIB's recommendations.

Beer in grocery stores

While the government has made some changes to the way that beer is sold in the province, the changes do not go far enough to provide opportunities to small grocers and corner stores. Nor do they provide greater competition or better pricing. We do, however, acknowledge that restaurants and bar owners will not be required to pay premiums on up to 250 cases of beer.

Other measures

Budget 2015 did not address other key small business concerns, such as repealing mandatory WSIB insurance for business owners and independent operators in construction and providing immediate relief to skyrocketing hydro rates for small businesses.

Read our budget recommendationspresentation and submission under the "for more details" section.