Politicians warned against hiking taxes on jobs

Small business confidence continues to drop in Ontario

TORONTO, July 4, 2012 /CNW/ - As confidence among Ontario small business owners continues to fall, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is delivering the following message to an all-party committee at Queen's Park today: hiking payroll taxes will jeopardize jobs and the economy.

"Increasing payroll taxes on hard-pressed small business owners is essentially a tax on jobs," said CFIB's Ontario vice president, Satinder Chera. "Entrepreneurs are forced to pay more, even if they haven't turned a penny of profit. That isn't fair."

The threat of higher payroll taxes comes from a recent report on the finances of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Already struggling with a $14.5 billion unfunded liability, the WSIB and the Ministry of Labour responded to the report by hiking - not cutting - those liabilities. Ontario's workers' compensation system is funded entirely through premiums on employers.

Higher payroll taxes could not come at a worse time. The latest CFIB Business Barometer®, based on a monthly survey of business owners, shows confidence continued to decline last month. Already trailing the national average, business confidence in the province hasn't been this low since November of 2011.

In May, CFIB sent an open letter to the major party leaders, asking them for their commitment to stop the WSIB from hiking premiums on workplace payroll. Premier Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath were specifically asked to ensure that tax relief already delivered to small businesses is not clawed back in the form of higher WSIB premiums.

"So far, only Tim Hudak has responded to our letter, pledging his support for small businesses in the face of higher payroll taxes," said Chera. "I hope today's presentation will allow small businesses to lock-up support from Premier McGuinty and Ms. Horwath too."

Satinder Chera will appear at the Standing Committee on Government Agencies at 2:20 pm today in Committee Room 1 of the Ontario Legislature to deliver CFIB's presentation.

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 109,000 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:

To arrange an interview, please call Meghan Carrington at 416-222-8022 or by email at public.affairs@cfib.ca

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