Retail Council of Canada's Reaction to 2007-2008 Federal Budget



    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is pleased with
the modest tax relief measures outlined in the 2007-2008 Federal Budget, as
announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty earlier today. As the Voice of
Retail, RCC speaks for an industry that employs more than two million
Canadians and contributes approximately $390 billion in annual sales to the
Canadian economy.
    "On behalf of Canada's 220,000 retailers, Retail Council of Canada
welcomes the modest tax relief measures included in the 2007-2008 Federal
Budget," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada.
"Lower taxes will have a positive effect on the real disposable incomes of all
hard-working Canadians and this is good news for the retailers who serve them.
We are particularly pleased that the Minister focused the tax relief on low
and middle income earners. These tax cuts will give back Canadians a few more
of their hard-earned dollars so they have a little more breathing room in the
face of rising living costs."
    These tax cuts will be positive news for both customers and retailers.
Additional money in the wallets of tax payers means that retailers have a
larger potential market for which to compete. The Working Income Tax Benefit
should help to reduce the disincentive for some individuals to leave welfare
to find paid work. As an industry that represents a gateway to the world of
work, retailers believe this measure should facilitate the entry of more
people into jobs and careers in retail. The additional income in the hands of
lower and middle income Canadians offers the potential of more jobs for people
entering the world of retail and more available working hours for those
two million people who are already employed in Canada's retail industry. With
retail employees representing 1/8 of Canada's labour force, these cuts will be
beneficial for many Canadian households.
    The funding promised for labour skills training may assist retailers in
upgrading the skills of existing employees and helping to attract new talent.
    Two measures of particular benefit for independent retailers are the
increase in the lifetime capital exemption to $750,000 and the commitment to
reduce the paper burden on small businesses by 20 per cent.
    Brisebois adds, "RCC believes that a central role of government in both
good economic times and challenging times is to sustain their citizens'
standard of living and consumer confidence. We are pleased to see that the
government is taking steps to improve the personal disposable income of all
Canadians and we encourage the government to continue making improvements in
this area."

    About Retail Council of Canada
    Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail.
It is a not-for-profit association representing more than 40,000 stores of all
retail formats, including independent merchants, regional and national mass
and specialty chains, and online merchants.





For further information:

For further information: Retail Canada of Council's Vice-President of
Policy Development and Research, Peter Woolford is available for interviews
and can be reached at (416) 801-3204; Stephanie Petroff, Manager, National
Public Affairs, Retail Council of Canada, (416) 922-0553, ext. 228, e-mail
spetroff@retailcouncil.org


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