We know you’re too busy to attend meetings with politicians, so instead we ask your opinion on issues that matter to your business and present them to decision makers like the Premier or Finance Minister.
We want to thank the 400 entrepreneurs, like you, who responded to CFIB’s 2020 Saskatchewan Pre-Budget Survey, and provided views on a number of budget issues including: how the government should spend sustainably, maintain a competitive tax environment and continue reducing red tape.
What we heard:
Priorities now that Sask’s budget is balanced:
- 61% say focus on limiting the increase in government expenditures (e.g. further reduce the size of government through workforce attrition);
- 52% say reduce the provincial government debt;
- 46% say reduce provincial taxes;
- 44% say further improve roads/infrastructure in Saskatchewan; and
- Only 29% say increase government expenditures (e.g. education, healthcare).
CFIB’s 2020-21 pre-budget recommendations:
- Limit annual spending increases to rate of GDP growth;
- Continue to further reduce the size of Executive government through attrition by another 5% over next 4 years;
- Require Crown Corporations and non front-line components of Third Party entities to implement a 10% reduction in their size through workforce attrition over the next four years.
- Narrow wages/benefits disparity (20.4%) between public and private sector employees for Executive government, Crown Corporations and key Third Party entities;
- Eliminate the banking of sick days in the public sector and introduce affordable short-term disability plans for public sector workers to better align sick leave provisions with those of the private sector. Currently, provincial government employees in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia cannot bank sick days;
- Reduce accrued employee leave entitlements and reduce the provisions of compensated absences in employment agreements and collective bargaining agreements in the future.
Improving tax competitiveness
- Continue to aggressively oppose the federally-imposed carbon tax;
- Push to stop future rounds of CPP increases;
- Reinstate indexation of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) system;
- Reinstate the PST exemption for all insurance products such as property and vehicle insurance;
- Continue to reject any proposal that would provide increased taxation powers to municipalities (e.g. fuel, income or sales tax);
- Reject calls for provincial tax increases to finance infrastructure (e.g. province wide property tax levy on business & residential properties).
Medium to Long-term recommendations:
- Introduce a plan to reduce Saskatchewan’s small business corporate income tax rate (reduce the rate on the first $600,000 of business income from 2% to 0%);
- Introduce income tax credit for low income workers (e.g. no PIT paid under $25,000 on a graduated basis);
- Remove the PST from other items such as construction labour and restaurant meals; 1st step is to consider measures to reduce impact on construction sector;
- Commit to reduce the PST, as the province’s finances improve.
Continue to reduce red tape
- Inter-provincial Red Tape: Through the Council of the Federation, continue to work with other provincial, territorial and federal leaders to ensure the success of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and the reduction of inter-provincial trade barriers;
- The mandatory regulatory review work plans of Ministries, Agencies and Crown Corporations, should be based on the concerns of business instead of them deciding what and when to review;
- Actively encourage municipalities to reduce their regulatory burden on small business (e.g. adopting a Direct Cost Estimator, and reducing the time to obtain a commercial building permit to a maximum of 2 weeks);
- Eliminate the requirement for employers to apply for a specific permit if an employee wants to observe a public holiday on a different day.
Discussing Pre-Budget Priorities
We met with Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Donna Harpauer and Premier Scott Moe to make sure your priorities are addressed in the 2020 Budget.