Regina, June 1, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says Saskatchewan small business owners are pleased the 2016 provincial budget contains no tax hikes, controls spending and plans to balance the provincial budget by 2017.
No tax increases: “Entrepreneurs will be relieved the government held the line on taxes and also didn’t introduce any new taxes,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Prairie and Agri-business. “It would have been tempting for the government to take the easy way out and hike taxes to make up its $968 million drop in resource revenue.”
Controlled spending: “The government deserves credit for limiting its annual overall government spending growth to 2.0 per cent, which is just slightly higher than the rate of GDP growth forecast of 0.6 per cent in 2016,” stated Braun-Pollon. “We also like their plan to hold the line on spending in 2017.”
Transformational change: The budget marks the beginning of a government-wide process of transformational change with the aim to ensure the sustainability of high-quality public services delivered in the most efficient, effective way possible. “We welcome this exercise and hope it translates into real cost savings for taxpayers. CFIB believes there are a number of ways government can contain costs such as further reducing the footprint of government, addressing the wages/benefits disparity between public and private sector employees, and eliminating banked sick day provisions.”
Balanced budget: “We welcome the government’s plan to return to surplus by 2017-18. However, the budget cannot be balanced on the backs of taxpayers through tax hikes,” added Braun-Pollon.
Continuing to improve Saskatchewan's infrastructure: “The $3.5 billion in capital investment for 2016-17 is critical as business owners recognize the importance of infrastructure investment to the province’s long-term growth,” said Braun-Pollon.
Municipal Revenue Sharing: Budget 2016-17 provides just under $272 million for revenue sharing to Saskatchewan municipalities, an increase of $6.4 million compared to last year. “Given the 113 per cent increase since 2007-08, CFIB urges municipal leaders to use this revenue wisely and avoid annual property tax increases,” noted Braun-Pollon.
“Overall this budget sends the right signals, keeps Saskatchewan moving forward and maintains our reputation as a good place to do business,” concluded Braun-Pollon. “CFIB will continue to lobby the government in the coming months to ensure we address our outstanding competitive challenges.”
As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by EntrepreneursTM. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.