2017 budget a relief for small firms but worries, tax hikes on horizon

Employment Insurance taxes to rise by 3% in 2018

Ottawa, March 22, 2017 - In responding to the 2017 Federal Budget, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) noted that small business owners will be relieved to learn there are no measures to raise taxes on capital gains or small business income in 2017. 

“We’re relieved by what we didn’t see in this budget, but small business owners will be concerned that several key tax measures for independent businesses are under active review,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.  These include the personal and capital gains tax treatment of businesses where several family members are involved.

The biggest negative for entrepreneurs and employees is a projected 3% increase in Employment Insurance (EI) rates in 2018. “The payroll budgets of every business and the take home pay for Canadian workers will now drop for 6 straight years, with an EI hike in 2018 and 5 years of CPP premium hikes starting in 2019,” Kelly noted.

On the positive front for small business owners, CFIB noted:

  • Several investments in skills building programs
  • A new procurement initiative to support innovative entrepreneurs
  • A review of measures to allow less costly transfers of businesses to family members
  • Measures to make it faster and easier to employ foreign workers

“We applaud measures in the budget to help build skills levels and the labour force available to employers,” said Dan Kelly.  “We hope this will include a pathway to permanent residency for foreign workers with lower skills levels.  In addition, we’re thrilled the government is considering changes to allow transfers of businesses to family members, recommended by CFIB and the subject of two recent private members’ bills from the Liberals and NDP.”

While the budget has no major new overall spending initiatives, small business owners remain highly concerned with the size of deficits and debt.  “Concern over government deficits has risen to become the number two issue for CFIB members, just behind the total tax burden,” Kelly said.  “We urge the government to introduce a plan to get back to a balanced budget and deliver on their election promise to reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019.”

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Kiara Morrissey at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or public.affairs@cfib.ca

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

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