A "fair" performance by the government according to a Léger Marketing survey:
The President of the Conseil du patronat du Québec believes that business
leaders are expecting courageous decisions

MONTREAL, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The 350 business leaders surveyed by Léger Marketing at the request of the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) are currently giving a rating of 5.3 out of 10 to express their overall satisfaction with the Québec government. The CPQ attributes this rating to business leaders' wish to see the government take more courageous decisions for Québec's future prosperity.

"Business leaders recognize the initiatives that have been taken and the results obtained to date, but they hope that the government will also have the courage to take more difficult decisions in the months and years ahead," remarked CPQ President Yves-Thomas Dorval, upon the release of the survey results.

An important test

The next budget will be the first important test for the government as far as business leaders are concerned, since it is in the area of managing public expenses that the government received the lowest score (3.9 out of 10).

    
    In fact, the opinion of business leaders on the subject of public
    finances supports the positions that the CPQ has adopted in recent
    months:
    - Only 3% of respondents believe that the solution to the deficit lies
      exclusively in increasing revenues.
    - 95% support the idea of a new mechanism that would force the government
      to offset any new spending program, project or policy with an
      equivalent reduction in spending in other areas.
    - On the issue of payroll deductions, only 7% of respondents believe that
      the government should continue increasing contribution levels in order
      to meet the rising costs of these programs, whereas nearly four
      businesses in ten (39%) feel that we must stop raising contributions by
      cutting certain benefits under these programs, or even lower
      contributions by re-examining the structure of the programs (53%).
    

On this point, the President of the CPQ notes that the opinion of business leaders is fairly similar to that of the general public, as measured by a similar survey carried out last fall: "Business leaders are not a species apart from the rest of society. Very often they are in step with a large portion of the population, and the government can expect broad-based support when it undertakes the reforms that Québec needs."

    
    Other action required

    The CPQ believes that the government should give special attention to the
    other areas where it has received low ratings:
    - Establishing rules of ethics for governance in the public sector
      (4.1/10)
    - Implementing a tax system and contributions on wages that are
      competitive (4.7/10)
    - Simplifying and harmonizing legislation to which businesses are subject
      (4.7/10) and
    - Creating productivity and performance incentives for companies
      (4.9/10).

    The best scores

    The government received the best ratings in the areas of:
    - fostering innovation (6/10)
    - promoting free enterprise and entrepreneurship (6/10), and
    - ensuring the implementation of modern infrastructure (5.6).
    

But what earn the government its most positive assessment are its initatives favouring free trade (6.5%). No doubt this reflects the personal leadership shown by the premier in expanding Québec's trading space, both within Canada and with France and the European Union.

The detailed report on the CPQ-Léger Marketing survey that was released today, including its methodology, is available at www.cpq.qc.ca.

The Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) is an association of Quebec's largest companies and the vast majority of sector-based employers' groups, making it the province's sole employers' confederation.

SOURCE Conseil du patronat du Québec

For further information: For further information: Patrick Leblanc, Vice-President - Communications, (514) 571-6400 (cell.)


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