CFIB report demands an urgent conversation among local government
leaders on overspending
VANCOUVER, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - With municipal leaders from across the
country gathering in Vancouver later this week for the annual
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference, the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on them to take
action on municipal overspending. CFIB today released a report showing
that spending has grown more than three times the rate of population
over the past 12 years in Canada's three largest cities - Toronto,
Montreal and Vancouver - and in Canadian municipalities overall.
"Most of us can appreciate that the cost of running our cities must keep
pace with population growth, and factor in the cost of inflation," says
CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones. "But our research shows
spending is increasing by as much as three to eight times the rate of
population growth in Canada's largest cities. Municipal officials claim
they lack sufficient revenue, and argue that cities need even more
revenue and increased taxing authority. Our report shows the real
problem is overspending."
This spending problem is not just confined to Canada's largest cities.
From 2000 to 2011, inflation-adjusted spending grew by 55 per cent in
all Canadian municipalities while population only grew by 12 per cent.
The increases in spending are largely driven by public sector wages and
benefits which consume between 52 to 67 per cent of local government
operating spending in the three big cities.
"From 2000 to 2011, city staff in all Canadian municipalities increased
by 25 per cent, more than double population growth," says Mike Klassen,
CFIB BC director of provincial affairs. "Combine that with wages and
benefit packages that are more than one-third higher than comparable
occupations in the private sector, and you can begin to understand the
causes of overspending by our cities. It adds up to a cost of over
$10,000 per Canadian family of four during the same period."
"It's time that we changed the conversation to move away from the
persistent requests for new tax revenues from our local governments to
one that addresses spending challenges—responsible policy-making
depends on it," suggests Laura Jones. "CFIB hopes this report is a
catalyst to start this critical conversation."
To read Big City Spenders report, please visit www.cfib.ca.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized
businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region of the
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
For further information:
To arrange an interview with Laura Jones or Mike Klassen, please contact Kimball Kastelen at 604-518-0548, or firstname.lastname@example.org.