New Parliament session: Small businesses need MPs to address uncertainty and eroding tax competitiveness

Ottawa, September 17, 2018 – With Parliament back in session today and an election year looming, MPs need to help small businesses remain competitive by reducing costs and regulations, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

“On top of escalating trade tensions that marked the past summer, small businesses are facing increasing cost pressures at a time when U.S. competitors are seeing their tax and regulatory burden go down,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. “In fact, new data shows small business optimism has hit record highs in the United States, while Canadian small firms remain stuck in neutral. In light of looming tax hikes, we’re calling on government to take immediate action so small businesses can grow, succeed and fuel the prosperity that benefits us all.”

Starting in 2019, CPP rates will go up every year for the next five years, significantly raising payroll costs for employers. “In fact, even with the welcome news of a small drop in Employment Insurance rates for 2019, employee paycheques and employer payroll budgets will be smaller on January 1,” Kelly noted. On top of this, the tax changes introduced in 2017 have also been expensive for many small businesses, increasing both their tax and regulatory burdens.

“Though the government moved forward with its small business tax changes, there are still things that can be done to soften the blow on small business owners,” said Kelly. “Exempting spouses from the new income sprinkling rules and grandfathering existing investments from the new passive investment rules would go a long way towards improving business optimism.”

Helping businesses remain competitive 
In a letter sent to all MPs, CFIB is urging the government to introduce measures to offset the mounting costs and regulatory burden for small businesses, such as: 

  • Allowing small businesses to deduct costs on new equipment or technology
  • Instituting a permanent lower EI rate for small businesses and an EI holiday for hiring youth 

“We’re looking forward to this new session and to working with all parties to strengthen Canada’s business environment,” added Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB senior vice-president of national affairs. “This is their opportunity to take concrete actions to show small business owners they care in the lead-up to the 2019 election.”

To provide further details, Dan Kelly will be presenting CFIB’s pre-budget recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance tomorrow at 8:45AM (EST). 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

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 sector and region. Learn more at