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CFIB files Freedom of Information requests across Canada on CPP deal MB

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Small business urges delay, amendments and compensating measures in open letter

Winnipeg, June 29, 2016 – Did any government do an economic impact analysis before signing on to the CPP agreement in principle? That’s the question the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) seeks to answer, after filing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with all eight provinces that signed the agreement, as well as the federal government this morning.

“It’s disappointing enough to see finance ministers put Canadian jobs in jeopardy,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “To do it behind closed doors, without the public consultation promised in the 2016 federal budget or any economic impact analysis, on a short and arbitrary deadline, is irresponsible.”

CFIB also issued an open letter to all 10 premiers and the Prime Minister, encouraging them to share any analyses they did on the CPP deal, before the July 15 signing deadline.  The letter urges governments to delay finalizing the deal until consultation can take place, make amendments to soften the impact of any CPP enhancements and implement compensating measures to help small firms adjust. CFIB advised governments that it has just launched a survey of small business owners to gather their views on the new deal.

“While pleased to see Manitoba propose some changes to CPP, such as a longer phase-in of the upper earnings limit, we had hoped there would have been more of a focus on reducing the premium hit,” added Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president prairie & agri-business. “Manitoba entrepreneurs are counting on their government to stand firm and not sign onto the CPP agreement.”

Proposed Amendments

CFIB recommended governments consider a number of amendments to the agreement in principle to reduce the negative impact it will have on small business owners and low-income Canadians, particularly Quebec’s proposal to exempt additional employer and employee premiums on the first half of pensionable income - $27,500 in 2016 dollars. CFIB also urges an exemption for the self-employed who already pay double the rate of CPP than other Canadians.

Compensating Measures

“It appears many governments are underestimating how close to the line a lot of small firms are operating,” said Kelly. “If governments are determined to gamble with the economy on a CPP hike, we ask them to commit to measures to lessen the negative impact on small business, such as reinstating the small business corporate tax cuts cancelled in the last budget, cutting provincial small business and payroll taxes and freezing minimum wages. The CPP is too big, and affects too many Canadians, to rush an agreement to please Ontario,” added Kelly.

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, CFIB’s Vice-President Prairie & Agri-business, please call (204) 982-0817, 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]You can follow CFIB Manitoba 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.