CFIB relieved by lower EI premium hike for 2012; calls for renewed hiring credit and changes to rate setting

OTTAWA, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - After calling for a freeze of Employment Insurance (EI) rates in 2012, small business owners can breathe a half sigh of collective relief with today's announcement by the federal government to lower the expected Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate increase by half. "It is clear Finance Minister Flaherty has heard the concerns of Canada's entrepreneurs by taking action to lower the planned EI hike," said Dan Kelly, senior vice-president for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

CFIB is pleased government opted for a more modest EI premium rate increase of $0.07 per $100 in insurable earnings for employers and $0.05 for employees. This move will reduce the burden on business and leave more money in the pockets of their employees.

With over 15,000 petitions from small businesses across the country delivered to all federal MPs in recent days, CFIB is renewing its call for an expansion and extension of the EI hiring tax credit. "In a fragile global economy it makes good fiscal sense to support the job creators in Canada. But, as rates will still go up in 2012 -- the extension and expansion of the EI hiring credit in the next budget is crucial to help offset this premium increase," Kelly said.

Furthermore, CFIB is urging government to finish and move forward on its promise to review the way EI rates are set in the future. "We are looking to the EI rate setting consultation review to come up with solid recommendations to allow the EI system to work better during periods of economic uncertainty so we do not have to face increasing rates at the worst possible time," 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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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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