The New Brunswick government delivered the 2017-2018 budget in Fredericton on February 7, 2017.
A few key points to note in the budget include:
- No new taxes;
- A reduction of the small business tax from 3.5 per cent to 3 per cent,
- An increase in funding of 17.6% for tourism, 4.9% to education and 3.3% to health; and
- Government says it will balance the budget in 2020-2021.
The deficit this year is projected to be $192 million. The provincial debt is now forecasted to reach a staggering $14.4 billion with interest payments surpassing $700 million annually. The GDP growth projection for 2017 is 0.6 per cent compared to 0.4 per cent in 2016.
CFIB expressed our disappointment in the budget as it failed to recognize the needs of small businesses and ignored many of CFIB’s key budget recommendations. The reduction of the small business tax rate to 3 per cent, while appreciated, is not enough to offset the additional costs that government is imposing on business owners in the province. Over the last two years small businesses have faced increased costs in the form of higher property taxes, gas and diesel taxes, the land transfer tax, personal income taxes, minimum wage and the hike of the Harmonized Sales Tax.
And still, business owners know that additional costs are looming. Minimum wage is scheduled to increase, employment insurance rates are going up for small businesses, workers compensation premiums are climbing, Canada Pension Plan premiums will go up and a carbon tax will be imposed all within the next two years.
79% of our members state that reducing the total tax burden is the most important action government can take to help support small business and entrepreneurship, but government does not appear to understand the realities of running a business in the province.
We will continue the fight for our members; emphasizing to Government that in order to grow our economy and to create more jobs in New Brunswick they need to foster a more small-business friendly environment.
For more information about the New Brunswick budget contact our office at 506 855-2526 or [email protected]