CFIB calls for a freeze on EI rates

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - In advance of the Employment Insurance (EI) rate announcement later this month, over 15,000 petitions from members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) were sent to federal MPs expressing their concern with the government's plan to increase EI premiums by 10 cents for employees and 14 cents for employers per $100 in payroll in 2012. "Given the ongoing economic uncertainty, now is not the time to be increasing EI premiums as it may end up deterring employers from hiring new employees," said CFIB senior vice-president of legislative affairs, Dan Kelly.

"Over 68 per cent of CFIB's small business members said the most effective tax measure during a period of economic uncertainty is a freeze on EI premiums. A rate hike at this time will serve only to set back economic recovery and job creation. With Canada losing 54,000 full time jobs in the last month according to Statistics Canada data, the government should not be making it worse by increasing the cost of hiring," said Kelly.

Furthermore, an increase in EI premiums in 2012 would be unfair, given employers and employees have overpaid more than $50 billion dollars in the EI account over the past 15 years. "We are urging the federal government to consider the consequences of EI premium rate increases on small businesses and employees," stated Kelly.

In addition, CFIB is calling on government to extend and expand the benefits of the EI hiring tax credit into 2012, thereby providing small businesses with an EI premium holiday for any increase in their payroll from one year to the next. "We believe that these changes to the EI hiring tax credit would assist even more businesses with their current and future hiring plans," concluded Kelly.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

or to arrange an interview, contact Gisele Lumsden or Meghan Carrington at 416 222-8022 or via email at public.affairs@cfib.ca

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