N.B. budget a mixed bag in election year

FREDERICTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has mixed feelings about the New Brunswick government's final budget, introduced today. CRFA is concerned with the continued high deficit, but is pleased government kept its promise to hold the HST at 13 per cent and avoid a job-killing payroll tax to fund its new prescription drug plan. The government remains committed to reining in spending, with a 1.9 per cent increase forecast for this election year.

"While we would have preferred a deficit-free budget, we're extremely pleased that today's budget freezes taxes and continues to keep spending under control," says Luc Erjavec, Vice-President Atlantic for CRFA. "Government's commitment to not increase the tax burden on small businesses is good news for the province's 1,600 restaurants."

As one of New Brunswick's largest private-sector employers, the restaurant industry directly employs more than 23,000 people at nearly 1,600 commercial establishments. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians say their first job was in the restaurant industry, making it the number one source of first jobs.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's restaurant industry generates $68 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information: Luc Erjavec, 902-209-0804, or Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca.