CRFA welcomes the creation of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board



    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) applauds the federal government for announcing in today's
budget an end to the diversion of employer- and employee-paid Employment
Insurance (EI) premiums to unrelated purposes. The government has done this by
establishing a separate EI crown corporation.
    "CRFA has vehemently opposed over-contributions by employers and
employees to this insurance program for more than 15 years. Over that time,
over-contributions have resulted in a notional EI surplus of more than $50
billion," says Joyce Reynolds, CRFA Executive Vice President of Government
Affairs. "It is significant that this inappropriate practice is coming to an
end, and with a sound governance structure for the new crown corporation, this
announcement should result in EI premium savings for both employers and
employees."
    Today's federal budget also recognizes the seriousness of Canada's labour
shortage and includes measures to address immigration backlogs and
disincentives to work. An additional $22 million investment to speed up the
processing of permanent resident applications is welcome news.
    The steep clawbacks of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) discourage
retirees from taking on work to supplement modest incomes. Raising the current
GIS earned income exemption from $500 a year to $3500 a year - a measure
included in today's budget - is a way to reduce high marginal tax rates for
seniors.
    While today's federal budget continues to encourage provinces without
harmonized sales taxes to adopt a harmonized tax, it fails to acknowledge the
very serious impact this move would have on consumers. Fortunately, provincial
governments have recognized that harmonization represents a significant
transfer of taxes from business to consumers and continue to resist pressure
from the federal government to move forward with harmonization.





For further information:

For further information: Joyce Reynolds, CRFA Executive Vice President,
Government Affairs, (416) 738-9204 (cell); Jeni Armstrong, CRFA Communications
Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254


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