While CFIB is giving the 2018 provincial budget a grade of “B”, this budget failed to address some of the greatest challenges faced by small- and medium-sized business owners such as the heavy tax load and the increasing size and cost of government.
Here is how the government fared on delivering on key asks made by business owners like you:
- Balancing the budget: The budget is balanced and there is a $29 M surplus.
- Red tape reduction: Government continues to focus on red tape reduction. The target to reduce red tape for small businesses by $25 M is included in this budget. The new Business Navigation Service will continue to help new and existing businesses navigate red tape.
- Tax relief: There is no new tax relief for small- and medium-sized businesses in this budget. However, 2018/19 will be the first full fiscal year that the increased Basic Personal Exemption and increased Small Business Tax Threshold will be in place. These were new tax measures introduced in last year's budget. Also, government has increased tax relief for low income earners thereby reducing the need to hike minimum wage.
- Reducing size of government: The number of Full Time Employees (FTEs) increased over last year.
- Reducing the cost of government: Government increased its spending by 2 per cent over last year.
- Reducing debt: The debt went down slightly and is projected to trend downward as a percentage of GDP over the next several years.
We will continue to push government to focus on tax relief for small businesses which is essential to the health and success of businesses such as yours.