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NEWS RELEASE · 20th February 2013
CFIB Grades 2013/14 BC Budget a "B"

"PRPPs will benefit small business owners and their employees"

The Provincial government today unveiled a budget that provides good news overall for BC’s small and independent businesses, while raising concerns about economic competitiveness over the long term. The most significant news in today’s budget is the Minister of Finance’s announcement of measures to enable the creation of PRPPs, or pooled registered pension plans. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business gives the Province a "B" grade overall for today’s budget.

: "CFIB is pleased by the initial announcement about PRPPs," says CFIB Director of Provincial Affairs Mike Klassen. "CFIB has been a strong advocate of pooled retirement pension plans, and we are extremely pleased to see this measure included in today’s budget speech. While the details remain to be determined, this is a big step in the right direction for small business and the security of their employees, where only one in three BC workers belongs to a RSP. "While public sector employees routinely enjoy ‘defined benefit’ plans which yield benefits far in excess of contributions," adds Klassen, "few small or medium sized businesses or their employees enjoy such an opportunity. In fact, private sector workers have helped subsidize these benefits for the public sector for years."

Balancing the budget is a critical accomplishment. Among CFIB members and small businesses generally, 93% ranked this as their top priority. "Small business operators know how important it is to balance your books," Klassen comments. "We laud the government for recognizing this and delivering a balanced budget."
"That said, this year’s balanced budget is predicated on substantial sales of government assets over the next two years" adds Klassen. "This one-time sale of assets is expected to generate more than $600 million. The government represents this measure as a ‘bridge’ toward structural surplus budgets, and this must be the end result."

On the heels of the return of the PST, CFIB is disappointed by the accelerated increase of the Corporate Income Tax to 11%. We are grateful that the Small Business Tax Rate remains unchanged, and will continue to bring that rate down to zero. While provincial debt is forecast to continue to rise, the rate of increase is projected to be lower than the rate of growth, resulting in an overall decline in the "debt-to-GDP" ratio, and this is a promising sign.

Recently, CFIB graded the BC Provincial government an "A" for their strong efforts to reduce red tape and regulation.