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Manitoba small businesses welcome much needed PST reduction ahead of schedule

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Winnipeg, March 7, 2019 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased that the Government of Manitoba’s 2019 budget is delivering much needed, meaningful tax relief for the province’s job creators ahead of schedule. Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced that the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) will drop from 8 to 7 per cent beginning on July 1st, 2019.

“Overall, this budget sends the right signals to Manitoba entrepreneurs,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Manitoba’s business owners were looking for three things in today’s budget: much needed tax relief, a clear plan to get back to balance through spending reductions, and continuing to reduce red tape.”

“Over the last six months this government has demonstrated it understands the significant cost pressures facing the province’s small business owners,” added Alward. “They stopped the ‘Made-in-Manitoba’ carbon tax, and are now delivering a one point reduction in the PST. This will provide roughly $325 million in savings annually to help businesses offset other tax increases including the federal tax changes, CPP premium increases and the threat of a federally-imposed carbon tax.”

“We know the tax relief offered today will allow Manitoba businesses to use the tax savings to grow and expand their business, increase employee wages and pay down debt,” noted Alward. “This relief should help offset recent declines in optimism among the province’s small businesses.”

Tax relief: Manitoba entrepreneurs welcome the government’s decision to decrease the Provincial Sales Tax effective July 1st, 2019, which is ahead of the predicted schedule of 2020. This significant tax rebate should return $237 million to Manitobans in the 2019 fiscal year. The province is further continuing to keep personal income tax brackets indexed.

Balanced budget: The province continues to reduce its summary deficit to $360 million by holding spending growth to under 0.3 per cent from the last budget (1.2% increase from the 2018 Budget Q3 forecast). This represents a $161 million decrease from the 2018 Budget ($110 million less than the 2018 Budget Q3 forecast).

“Small business owners work hard every day to balance their books, find efficiencies and live within their means, and they expect their governments to do the same. This budget shows Manitoba building on its recent efforts to get its fiscal house in order,” added Alward. “The summary deficit is shrinking to $360 million in 2019-2020, in large part by finding efficiencies such as reducing the provincial workforce through attrition, higher personal income tax revenues, and by increases in federal transfer payments.”

Red tape reduction: The Government of Manitoba has quickly become a Canadian leader on red tape reduction and has taken meaningful steps to reduce red tape headaches for business owners. While the province is planning to build upon its work in 2019-2020, CFIB is calling for a renewed focus on reducing red tape for small businesses. 

“Overall, this budget sends the right signals that the government understands the importance of small businesses and the cost pressures they are facing,” concluded Alward. “While progress is being made, there are still important commitments left to accomplish over the next year including increasing the Basic Personal Exemption amount and continuing to reduce the province’s deficit.”

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, please call 1-888-234-2232, 204-982-0817, or e-mail [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) 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.