Manitoba’s residents and small business support PST relief

New public poll and survey reveal strong support for PST decrease on July 1, 2019 

Winnipeg, April 2, 2019 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is releasing new survey data that reveals Manitoba’s residents and small business owners support the plan to reduce the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) from 8 to 7 per cent beginning on July 1, 2019. A public opinion poll and separate member survey were conducted between March 15 and 25.

“Both the current government and opposition agree that increasing the PST in 2013 was a mistake. The only remaining question is: when is the right time to undo this bad policy?” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Clearly, Manitoba’s residents and small business owners believe now is the time to reduce the PST.”

Survey findings
When asked if the Government of Manitoba should reduce the PST from 8 to 7 per cent beginning on July 1, 2019, 80 per cent of Manitoba business owners and 67 per cent of the general public agreed. 

Should the provincial government reduce the PST from 8 to 7 per cent beginning July 1, 2019?  (Select one answer only) Angus Reid Global Public Opinion Poll (per cent) CFIB Member Survey (per cent)
  Yes   67   80
  No   26   17
  Don't know   7   3
  Total   100   100

In partnership with Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Angus Reid Global conducted an online survey from March 15 to 18, 2019 survey among a representative sample of n=625 adult Manitoba residents. The respondents are members of Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) conducted an online survey of its members from March 15 to 25, 2019. A total of 235 independently owned and operated firms participated in this survey. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is +/- 6.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“For 48 years, CFIB has consistently commended good policy and criticized bad policy, regardless of political stripe. We aggressively opposed the PST hike in 2013 and conducted public polling then to give Manitobans the voice they deserved when their taxpayer referendum legislation was not respected,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “That is why we conducted public polling again, and the strong support for reversing this tax hike in 2019 is proof that residents and business owners have felt the impact of this bad policy for the last six years.”

PST reduction will improve competitiveness
The PST reduction is welcome news for many of the province’s small business owners who are facing several significant cost increases in 2019 including the federal small business tax changes on passive investments, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premium hikes for seven straight years, the federal carbon tax which began on April 1, and Manitoba Hydro rate hikes, among others. Those businesses surveyed agreed that the PST reduction would decrease their input costs (76%) and increase their customers’ buying power (83%). Additionally:

  • 83 per cent of Manitoba small business owners agreed that this tax relief would improve Manitoba’s competitiveness;
  • 80 per cent agreed that the PST decrease will have a positive impact on the province’s economy; 
  • 73 per cent agreed that the PST decrease will have a positive impact on their business; 
  • 75 per cent agreed that the PST decrease will help offset other recent cost increases for their business; and 
  • 53 per agreed that it will allow their business to make more investments in equipment and technology.

“CFIB is very pleased to see the PST drop on July 1, 2019 - ahead of schedule from what many expected. This tax relief is a much needed start as we’ve seen Manitoba’s small business owners trying to cope with a barrage of cost increases,” concluded Alward. “It’s now important that the provincial government fulfills another big commitment by increasing the Basic Personal Exemption amount to the national average. CFIB also urges the province to not impose the federal small business tax changes on passive investments at the provincial level, following similar action in New Brunswick and Ontario.”

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

On July 1, 2013, the PST increased from 7 to 8 per cent under the justification that it would be dedicated entirely to infrastructure funding and it would expire after 10 years. The move was controversial in several regards including its requirement to circumvent taxpayer referendum legislation, and was widely opposed by many residents and stakeholder groups including CFIB. 

The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Manitoba residents been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. 

About Angus Reid Global
Angus Reid is Canada’s most well-known and respected name in opinion and market research data. Offering a variety of research solutions to businesses, brands, governments, not-for-profit organizations and more, the Angus Reid Global team connects technologies and people to derive powerful insights that inform your decisions. Data is collected through a suite of tools utilizing the latest technologies. Prime among that is the Angus Reid Forum, an opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

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.