NS: CFIB gives budget a “B” grade

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By Staff, The Daily Business Buzz

Leanne Hachey, Atlantic vice-president, says the provincial government’s continued focus on spending restraint is welcome news to small business.

Leanne Hachey of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. — Eric Bourque photo

[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.”

Organizations: Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Government of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Inconvenient truths
    April 10, 2012 - 23:17

    Budget supporter, thank you for beginning with a nice ad hominem. Nothing enriches a discussion like attacking the person instead of an argument. I'm not sure when the balanced budget Rodney MacDonald left Dexter turned into a $1.4 billion debt (I spelled billion with a b too). MacDonald actually left with a $4 million surplus. The budget was defeated in legislature, and the budget tabled by the NDP after the election gave us a $592 million deficit. Oh yes, not all government employees are unionized either. Recently, the non-unionized ones have been getting the shaft a lot. Also, Democracy involves a free press and freedom of speech in addition to freedom to vote, so Johnny's complaining is actually vital to our democracy. The thing is: when you voice your opinion outside of the ballot box, you actually get to persuade what goes on others' ballots and affect a lot greater change than just voting. I know. How cool is that?

  • Johnny smoke
    April 04, 2012 - 11:27

    Does this woman live in a cave? More than 3500 unionized government employees are poised to go on strike if they do not get at least 5% and more than likely 7% in wage increases. That figure does not include benefit increases, pension increases and classification changes. To date the government has set aside $100 million for reorganization charges, that is code for wage and benefit increases. You can say what you want, but these politicians would be dead in the water without their assistants, spokespersons and suit case carriers. Consider this money spent, it pales when put beside their tax reductions, reductions my foot, it is like congratulating a 1000 pound person for losing 1 pound. This is typical slight of hand practiced by all governments, they only get the message when people have had enough and boot them out the door, may that day be soon.

    • BudgetSupporter
      April 05, 2012 - 09:40

      So...Johnny....what, exactly, qualifies you to contradict the VP of the CFIB on her critique of the 2012 budget? If they (CFIB) are relatively satisified with the measures in the budget, your sounding off rings hollow. This government inherited a $1.4 billion (that's billion, with a B!!!) annual operating deficit, and a $14 billion dollar debt. If they are able to decrease the operating deficit to a point where they can continue to decrease the deficit, and have room to negotiate wage increases, I think they should be applauded. That's what we call a "win-win" scenario. If you took the time to read the budget, you would see that there are a lot of great benefits coming down the pipe, thanks to the fiscal responsibility of this government. Stop complaining. If you want to affect a change, and provide input, get involved with your local MLA!!!!! That's how democracy works.