[HALIFAX, NS] - The Government of Nova Scotia says its new budget holds the line on spending, keeping the province on track to eliminate its deficit by next spring.
This sits well with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business which says spending restraint is a key issue for small business.
For its strategy, the organization has decided to give this year’s provincial budget a B grade.
“The government’s continued focus on spending restraint is welcome news to small business,” said Leanne Hachey, CFIB’s Atlantic vice-president. “As we get closer to balanced budgets, the challenge will be to ensure that government doesn’t revert back to bad habits. We don’t want to end up here again.”
Overall government spending increased just one per cent over last year, marking the second year in a row that spending hasn’t outpaced inflation.
The budget also included some modest tax relief in the form of a one-half per cent cut to the small business tax rate. In addition, government’s commitment to reduce the HST will help improve Nova Scotia’s competitiveness.
“Tax relief is always good news to small business,” said Hachey. “Better still would be a long-term tax plan to reduce the burden on families and small businesses and improve our overall competitiveness. We’ve taken a few steps in this direction, we’d like to see government go the distance.”
While the budget briefly mentioned red tape, Hachey said CFIB hoped it would provide some detail around how new legislation mentioned in last week’s throne speech fits into government’s overall plan to keep the regulatory burden from growing.
“Red tape is a high priority issue for our members,” she said. “Outlining plans to restrain red tape growth would have signaled that it’s a high priority issue for government too.”