Recommendations for the 2016 federal budget: show restraint and support growth

MONTREAL, July 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of pre-budget consultations by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal asks the government to show restraint in its budget planning and create an environment that enables Canadian businesses to be poised to seize the opportunities resulting from the global economic recovery.

Prudence is required, particularly given the current economic situation
The global economic situation and the drop in the price of oil and in investment are a call for prudence.

"To be able to face the unexpected, the government needs to give itself annual budgetary leeway in the order of $3 billion until 2017-2018 and not $1 billion as announced in the last budget," said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "If this reserve is untouched during the current budget exercise, it should be used to pay down the debt."

More competitive taxation to stimulate private investment and support SMEs
The economic growth of Canada and Greater Montréal depends on an increase in private investment and effective support to SMEs.

"We need to reduce the corporate and personal tax burden once the budget is balanced," Michel Leblanc said. "The government needs to plan for a generalized reduction in personal income tax to encourage work and an additional reduction in corporate tax rates to stimulate investment and productivity."

"The Board of Trade reiterates its call to reinstate the federal tax credit for labour-sponsored funds," Mr. Leblanc said. "This tax credit is crucial for the city's economic development. It promotes the creation and growth of innovative companies and supports tens of thousands of skilled jobs every year within the city."

Speed up the implementation of strategic investments in infrastructure
Investing in public infrastructure is leverage for the economy in two ways. It stimulates the economy in the short term, and it fosters an increase in productivity in the longer term.

"The government needs to back up its investments for the national transit strategy to as early as 2016-2017 so that the strategy can stimulate the economy when it is flagging," Michel Leblanc added. "It also needs to pursue investments in strategic economic infrastructures, particularly for developing the city's port and airport and for maritime development."

Still awaiting a commitment on Montréal's 375th anniversary
The oldest city in Canada should receive a significant federal legacy to mark the country's 150th anniversary.

"The lack of financial commitment from the federal government for the 375th anniversary of Montréal is perplexing given that this major milestone in the history of Canada is only two years away," Michel Leblanc said. "The federal government needs to confirm its financial contribution to Montréal's 375th anniversary celebrations as soon as possible — before the next budget is tabled — to ensure the festivities are a success."

Briefly, the pre-budget recommendations are as follows:

  1. Create the financial leeway for the Government of Canada to deal with the unexpected, using that reserve to pay down the country's debt if economic conditions turn out to be favourable.
  2. Increase the competitiveness of the tax regime, by pursuing the strategy to reduce the tax burden for individuals and companies.
  3. Accelerate major investments in economic and strategic infrastructures.

Consult the Board of Trade's pre-budget recommendations here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal's business community and to promote the city's prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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SOURCE Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

For further information: Michelle LLambias Meunier, Advisor, Media Relations, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042, mllambias@ccmm.qc.ca

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