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Manitoba Throne Speech promises public service transformation, but no tax relief

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On November 21, 2017, the Manitoba government delivered its third Speech from the Throne, which outlined the government’s direction for the year ahead. See Manitoba government’s news release: Government Continues Ambitious Program to Make Manitoba Most Improved Province.

CFIB provided your views on how the policies announced in the Throne Speech will impact your business.

Throne Speech Highlights

Getting back to balanced budgets: The provincial government reiterated its commitment to getting back to balanced budgets, and promised a new “new public service transformation strategy” to help accomplish this priority.

Few details were provided, but Premier Pallister said after that their plan to find efficiencies in the civil service goes “way beyond” their previous commitment to cut the size of government by 8 per cent over 3 years. The government also committed to reduce “spans and layers of senior management.”

Reducing red tape: The government promised to continue efforts to reduce job-killing red tape. A new tool to measure the impact of red tape will be introduced to serve as a “yardstick to measure progress on future reductions.”

Tax relief: No new tax relief was promised to help small businesses. The provincial government has not yet outlined when it will increase the Small Business Corporate Income Tax Threshold to $500,000 or reduce the PST to 7 per cent, as committed during the last provincial election.

The Saskatchewan government recently announced it will increase its Small Business Corporate Income Tax Threshold from $500,000 to $600,000, effective January 1, 2018.

Next Steps: We will present your 2018-19 pre-budget priorities to the Minister of Finance and Opposition leaders in the coming weeks. We will also continue to push hard for Manitoba to spend sustainably and deliver tax relief for small business.