High insurance sales tax an unfair burden on small businesses: Cost relief measures needed as the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly resumes

St. John’s, October 15, 2023 – Nine in ten of Newfoundland and Labrador’s small businesses (90%) are saying the cost of doing business is their top concern, followed by taxes (62%) and labour policies (56%), according to recent data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“This legislative session provides the provincial government with an opportunity to lower costs,” said Beatrix Abdul Azeez, Policy Analyst at CFIB. “Small businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador are uniquely burdened with a 15% retail sales tax on insurance, the highest in Canada, while their counterparts in other Atlantic provinces do not have to pay such a tax.”

With insurance costs amongst the top three input costs constraints, CFIB is calling on government to permanently eliminate the 15% retail sales tax on all insurance premiums paid by small businesses. CFIB is also urging government to increase the small business tax threshold and lower the small business tax rate itself. Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest small business tax rate in Atlantic Canada.

“Newfoundland and Labrador small businesses are looking to all political parties to lower costs and take a ‘do no harm’ approach this legislative session,” concluded Louis-Philippe Gauthier, CFIB’s vice-president in Atlantic Canada. “Introducing new payroll costs such as mandatory paid sick leave in the province would not be helpful.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

The data referenced in this news release was gathered through the Your Voice September 2023 CFIB online, controlled-access survey– Final Results, Active dates: September 7-21, 2023. Results based on responses from 2,687 CFIB members who are owners of Canadian independent businesses, from all sectors and regions of the country. For comparison purposes, a probability samples with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of +/-1.9%, 19 times out of 20.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 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.