Slamming, selectively (II)
For the record, from the pages of The Telegram past, in its coverage of budgets (and one fiscal update), is Bradley George of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, taking the Williams Government to task for the massive surge in the provincial government payroll during the Williams era.
As reported by Moira Baird, March 31, 2004:
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said the organization would have preferred a little consultation on the fee increases.The same reporter on March 22, 2005:
"The minister said the government has prided itself on no tax increases, but CFIB sees fee increases as tax increases," said Brad George, director of provincial affairs for CFIB.
"Our members aren't against user fees increases as such. What our members are looking for is that a user fee is representative of the service that the fee charges for. I'd want to see a process put in place to examine these fee increases."
Business organizations are happy with the provincial government's fiscally prudent ways - but they're still looking for tax relief.Again on April 27, 2007:
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says nothing was announced in Monday's budget to alleviate tax burdens for small business owners.
CFIB asked the government to start reducing the 15 per cent tax businesses pay on their insurance premiums.
That issue has become all the more pressing in the face of skyrocketing insurance premiums.
"It was a mixed budget for us," said Bradley George, CFIB director in Newfoundland. "We were pleased to see they addressed the debt ahead of schedule. They kept spending in check - something that our members were looking for.
"The No. 1 concern of our members in the last few years is insurance. They didn't touch the insurance premiums tax this year or last year."
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) called decreased tax rates and the indexing of personal income tax rates a huge benefit for the province.Everton McLean files on December 10, 2008, after the fiscal update:
"It is a good tax budget - it makes us a leader in Atlantic Canada, " said Brad George, CFIB's director of provincial affairs for Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Taxes were a top priority for our members this year. Overall, we gave this election budget a B-plus."
Also topping the CFIB tax list, though, was eliminating the 15 per cent provincial tax on insurance premiums and gasoline. Neither was touched in Thursday's budget.
"We'll be pursuing those next year," said George.
Local business leaders say the fiscal update by the provincial government Tuesday shows the Williams administration is sticking to sound economic principles as it moves towards less profitable years.And on March 27, 2009:
Bradley George of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said the federation liked initiatives announced in the fiscal update.
"We were pretty pleased," George said. "There had been some concern about where the government will go with this and we are pleased to hear the government will hold the line with tax reduction."
He said CFIB members feel tax reductions will help stimulate the provincial economy during the global downturn.
Also, George said, the financial statement and the large surplus will likely boost consumer and business confidence in the province, a key to keeping the economy going strong even when oil prices are low and resources aren't paying royalties to the province.
The provincial budget got a lukewarm reaction from business representatives Thursday, many of whom were happy with the potential spinoffs of the $900-million infrastructure investment, but disappointed with smaller- than-desired tax cuts.And Moira Baird, Barb Sweet, and Steve Bartlett reporting on March 30, 2010:
Bradley George, the provincial representative for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said the budget did little to spur small businesses, despite some programs aimed directly at them.
"It's not a bad budget, but it's not really a small business budget either," he said.
He said his members were looking for more tax relief. The extra tax credits in the budget only move the small business corporate tax threshold up to $500, 000 from $400,000, a small percentage from his perspective.
Most business and labour leaders don't mind stimulating the province's economy at the expense of a balanced budget - for now, anyway.
Bradley George, director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Independent Federation of Business, gave this year's budget a C-plus.
Bigger tax reductions - such as eliminating the payroll tax - for business owners might have improved that mark, he said.
"More tax reductions would have allowed more small business owners to create jobs."
He says CFIB members always support a balanced budget, but they don't mind a short-term deficit.
"When it comes to the small business corporate tax rate, we had asked for a complete elimination of that five per cent. P.E.I. has done that, and we believe Newfoundland and Labrador should do the same."
He said it would make the province more competitive with the rest of Atlantic Canada.