BC entrepreneurs seek relief for Employer Health Tax pains

VANCOUVER, December 6, 2018 – With the new Employer Health Tax (EHT) set to take effect on January 1, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) releases new survey data, showing the majority of employers believe the tax unfairly targets them and harms their hiring intentions. CFIB is renewing its call for the government to introduce mitigating measures.

This November, CFIB surveyed 732 small and medium-sized business owners across the province who will be directly hit by the new tax. Of those who will pay the tax, results show 72 per cent of entrepreneurs say the EHT will have negative consequences on their hiring intentions. 24 per cent say it will have no impact, and 4 per cent were undecided.

“The government’s own budget documents say that employer-paid payroll taxes are generally reflected in reduced wages. With BC businesses already facing a series of annual increases in CPP payroll taxes starting on January  2019, this big new provincial payroll tax is going to be hard for a lot of business owners to stomach”, says Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta.

“We are proposing two key ways to make this new payroll tax a much easier pill to swallow for employers. Step one is to end the double-whammy of requiring employers to pay both MSP premiums and the EHT in 2019. Step two is to exempt youth from the payroll calculation for the new tax. Taking these two steps will go a long way to helping small and medium sized businesses deal with rapidly growing payroll costs,” stated Truscott.

These two sensible steps are overwhelmingly supported by BC’s business community. Two-thirds believe youth should be exempt from the payroll tax calculation, while three-quarters believe it should only be introduced when the MSP is eliminated at the end of 2019.

The CFIB survey was conducted from November 22 to November 30.  There were 732 respondents to a web-based, controlled access survey.

For additional background information on the Employer Health Tax, click here

To arrange a media interview with Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta, please contact 604-684-5325 or msbc@cfib.ca after 8:30 AM PT. Mr. Truscott will be available for interviews after 9.30AM PT

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.