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CFIB President meets Manitoba Finance Minister to encourage province to block CPP hike
Winnipeg, June 16, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has collected more than 50,000 petitions from small business owners opposed to Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) premium hikes being debated at next week’s finance ministers’ meeting in Vancouver. A further 40,000 petitions have been collected in opposition to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP).
CFIB president Dan Kelly will meet today with Manitoba’s Finance Minister, the Honourable Cameron Friesen, to share entrepreneurs’ concerns about potential CPP expansion and urge the Manitoba government to reject CPP expansion and, instead, move forward with Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) legislation.
This week, CFIB sent the petitions, along with letters to finance ministers in every province, urging them to reject CPP/QPP expansion. CFIB hand-delivered 2,200 petitions from Manitoba members to Finance Minister Friesen. In order to move forward, the payroll tax increase requires the support of at least two thirds of the provinces, representing at least two thirds of the population.
“The proposed CPP hike is a bad idea on almost every level,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly, who has met personally with the finance minister or premier in all ten provinces in recent months to lobby against CPP/QPP expansion. “Workers prefer other options. Business owners don’t want it. It doesn’t help seniors and it hurts young people and those with lower incomes. Who is this policy for?”
CFIB has been conducting a public awareness campaign on pension expansion at RetirementReality.ca. CFIB’s online petition, a part of the awareness campaign, has garnered nearly 18,000 signatures from Canadians.
Seventy-nine per cent of Manitoba small business owners (71% nationally) oppose a mandatory premium hike, according to CFIB’s latest survey. Fewer than one-in-five Canadians chose CPP as the best vehicle for their savings.
If imposed, 34 per cent of employed Canadians say a mandatory CPP/QPP increase would reduce their ability to spend on essential goods and services. Two-thirds of business owners say it would increase pressure to freeze or cut salaries, and 35 per cent say it would force them to lay off employees.
“For average workers, the CPP/QPP issue boils down to one question: with 60 per cent of Canadians telling us that they can’t afford to save more, how will it help them to have governments take even more money out of their pockets today?” added Kelly.
“We encourage governments to pursue other options, such as creating better voluntary options (e.g. Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), voluntary CPP/QPP) or incentives to help Canadians save for their own retirement. Governments should also consider that the best way to help people save is to reduce government spending and taxes, allowing Canadians to contribute more of their own money towards their retirement.”
To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or [email protected].
To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President Prairie and Agri-business at (204) 982-0817, 1 888 234-2232 or email [email protected]. You can follow Marilyn on Twitter @cfibMB.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.