CFIB grades the federal budget a B plus

Small business group concerned about reference to ‘modest enhancements’ to CPP
||Last Updated: 06/08/2011

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said it was pleased the June federal budget delivered on earlier commitments to small business, giving it a B plus.

"With measures focusing on reducing red tape, the introduction of an employment insurance (EI) tax credit and better transparency and accountability at Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), government took some important steps to enhance job creation and recognize the economic contributions of small businesses in Canada," said CFIB president Catherine Swift.

Some key budget announcements for small business, according to the CFIB:

•Introduction of an EI hiring credit for small business that will exempt some small employers from paying EI premiums on an increase in their payroll. As an example, this credit will allow a firm with less than $413,000 in payroll create one new $40,000 per year job without paying any EI on that new position.

Improving taxpayer fairness at CRA. CFIB lauded the government’s move to provide written advice to business taxpayers on their tax questions. This will allow firms to have written proof they followed CRA instructions and not be held responsible if the CRA advice is incorrect.

•Measures to reduce unnecessary rules, regulations and paperwork, continuing the work of the Red Tape Reduction Commission and a continued commitment to BizPal.

•Ongoing work to introduce Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP).

While CFIB said it welcomed the ongoing work to introduce PRPPs, it said it is concerned with the reference to make "modest enhancements" to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Another tax increase is not the answer, said the CFIB.

The CFIB said it was disappointed further action wasn't taken to reduce the growing gap between public sector and private sector compensation, benefits and pensions.

"This was a missed opportunity to address the massive unfunded pension liability and deal with the ever rising cost of Canada's civil service," said Swift. "This is really about fairness to taxpayers that will ultimately get stuck with the bill if not addressed soon."

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