Media Advisory - CFIB Reaction to Federal Budget 2009

    OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business
(CFIB) believes that this budget will provide a certain stimulus to the
economy but remains very concerned with the large deficits, and questions
whether this level of spending is really necessary in the current economic
    "The number one priority for small business in this budget was to see
signs of stability that would build confidence," said CFIB president Catherine
Swift. "There are measures that will benefit Canada's small business owners
but we remain very concerned with giant deficits."
    CFIB was pleased to see the government acknowledge its sector by raising
the small business corporate income tax threshold to $500,000 from $400,000.
In addition, Swift applauded the targeted reductions in personal income tax,
as that has been CFIB's members' top tax cut priority. The fact that these
reductions are permanent is also very positive. Another top priority of CFIB
members was to stabilize Employment Insurance (EI) rates. Freezing EI rates
through 2010 was therefore positively received by CFIB. It was also
encouraging that EI benefit increases are to be temporary. Capital cost
allowance (CCA) measures on technology assets and extension of CCAs for
manufacturers is also good news for many businesses.
    "The high levels of spending in this budget are worrisome for taxpayers
and small business owners," said Swift, "as it may be the beginning of a trend
which could be repeated at other levels of government, reversing in two years
what it took a decade to achieve."
    As well, CFIB is concerned that many of the so-called temporary spending
measures, such as enhancing EI benefits, will be difficult to reverse and
could lead to structural deficits in the future. Although CFIB welcomes the
introduction of some scrutiny on credit card companies, more needs to be done
to promote transparency for both consumers and small business owners.
Questions also remain on whether measures in the budget aimed at alleviating
the current credit crunch will be effective. In the area of training, small
business would have appreciated a refundable tax credit on workplace training
instead of directing additional monies to existing programs which have
questionable effectiveness.
    Given small businesses' role as a stabilizing force in Canada's economy,
CFIB is calling on all political parties to provide messages of political and
fiscal stability to Canada's entrepreneurs.

For further information:

For further information: Gisele Lumsden at (647) 808-5769

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Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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