Federal leaders asked to respond to hot button small business issues

Positions on CPP a major concern

TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - In the run-up to the federal election, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has asked each of the leaders of Canada's major political parties to answer a survey to help determine how each party's platform may affect the over 108,000 small businesses CFIB represents.

"If an issue affects the Canadian small business community, it's one that affects 60 per cent of Canadian jobs and a significant source of job creation - especially in a period of economic recovery," explained CFIB president, Catherine Swift. "Our intention with this survey is to provide each federal leader with an opportunity to make clear what they will do if elected to address the top issues facing small businesses in this Year of the Entrepreneur."

CFIB's survey is composed of eight short questions on key policy issues affecting small businesses in Canada, such as small business corporate taxation, regulations and employment insurance. Also included among this list of questions is one concerning whether or not the leaders plan on raising Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) premiums and benefits, a looming issue that could have a major negative impact on its members.

"Increasing CPP benefits has featured prominently in the platforms of several parties," Swift noted, "but no one is talking about the impact of the commensurate increase in premiums."  The NDP has promised to double the CPP, the Liberals suggest they will increase it "moderately" and the Tory position is not at all clear.  "While small businesses support the current structure of CPP, it is a significant payroll tax at 9.9 per cent of an employee's salary.   If parties are looking at increasing this tax, they should be clear with Canadians that they are planning on increasing their taxes," Swift added. A CFIB report released in 2010 revealed that 235.000 jobs would be lost by year six of a schedule to double benefits.

As well, CFIB will be leveraging Twitter to keep its membership informed in the weeks leading up to the election (follow @cfib). In addition to the survey, CFIB has invited all party leaders to provide a short video with their vision for entrepreneurs in Canada. CFIB will also be sending real time tweets of small business-related discussion during the French and English leaders' debates.

Both the written and video responses will appear on CFIB's federal election website (www.cfib.ca/federalelection).

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview with Catherine Swift, please contact Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at 416 222-8022 or email public.affairs@cfib.ca

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