TORONTO, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of Retail Council of Canada (RCC) are concerned about the
implications of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), the
centrepiece of today's Ontario budget.
"Retailers understand the need for all Ontarians to build an adequate
nest egg for retirement," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of
Retail Council of Canada. "The level of retirees' incomes affects the
overall economy and of course determines people's abilities to buy
goods from our members. The challenge will be to balance the
importance of long-term pension incomes against the nearer-term impact
on growth, jobs and investment."
"There is a limit to the payroll contributions that retail businesses in
this province can be expected to pay without there being a significant
economic impact," continues Brisebois. "We have a substantial employer
health tax, the second highest WSIB rates in Canada and now, we are
looking at a new provincial retirement pension plan. The government
will have to look at the cumulative impact of these payroll costs, to
ensure they do not diminish our capacity to hire more Ontarians and to
make key investments."
In a recent telephone survey about the introduction of the ORPP,
retailers expressed concerns about:
The significant cost that this program will impose on merchants. This
is especially troubling for small to mid-sized retailers.
A $3,500 annual salary contribution threshold will limit the hiring of
seasonal, part-time and first-time employees.
With retail sales nearly flat in Ontario for many categories, retailers
will have no way of recouping these costs except by increasing prices
or by decreasing staff or new hires.
The increased pressure from all quarters: the rising Canadian dollar,
cross-border shopping and limited economic growth.
RCC and its retail members understand that the government has received a
majority mandate on a platform which included implementation of the
ORPP. That said, the retail industry maintains that the implementation
details of the new pension plan will be critical to the well-being of
On the second initiative in today's budget, RCC is pleased that the
Government of Ontario has listened to retailers' concerns on new
revenue tools to fund infrastructure.
"RCC had been opposed to proposals to introduce retail-unfriendly
revenue tools, such as parking stall levies, to pay for investments in
transport and transit infrastructure," says Brisebois. "We applaud the
government's balanced approach to reinvesting in the infrastructure of
this province to support the movement of goods and people that is vital
to a healthy economy."
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit
association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail
formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional
and national specialty chains, and online merchants.
SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada
For further information:
Retail Council of Canada