While CFIB is giving the 2019 provincial budget a grade of “B-”, this budget ignored the greatest challenges faced by small- and medium-sized business owners in Nova Scotia. There was no mention of your heavy tax burden, red tape or labour shortages.
Here is how the Nova Scotia government responded to the top priorities of business owners like you:
- Balancing the budget: The budget is balanced, with a $33-million surplus.
- Red tape reduction: A new target for red tape reduction was not announced.
- Tax relief: There was no new tax relief for small- and medium-sized businesses. No new taxes or fees were introduced.
- Reducing size of government: Forty new full-time employees (FTEs) were added to government payroll.
- Labour shortages: There were no new supports introduced to address labour shortages other than programs that are already available for certain employees (i.e. apprentices, new graduates, highly-skilled, educated immigrants).
- Government spending: Government spending increased by 4.2% over 2018-19 budget estimates - double the rate of inflation.
- Reducing debt: Net debt is increasing marginally; however, the debt-to-GDP ratio is trending downward.
We won’t let your concerns be ignored. We will continue to push the government to focus on tax relief, red tape reduction and fixing the labour shortage, which are essential to the health and success of businesses like yours.