ST. JOHN'S, April 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Although today's budget includes steps to reduce program spending, government is still forecasting a deficit and growing debt - and plans to do little to help the restaurant industry grow and prosper. To create an environment for long-term growth, government must reduce the cost of doing business in the province, let Newfoundlanders keep more of their hard-earned money and take aggressive steps to lower the large liability associated with public service pension, says the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
"The restaurant industry is the third-largest private-sector employer and a cornerstone of the province's economic and social foundation, and yet there is little in this budget to recognize the important role we play in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Atlantic Canada Vice President. "This budget will not reduce the cost of doing business or encourage customers to visit our restaurants."
"While government deserves credit for reducing the rate of program spending, taxpayers are still on the hook for billions of dollars in public pension liability. Our members pay more than their fair share of taxes, and can't be expected to bail out pension plans when they are trying to run their businesses and create employment opportunities for thousands of Newfoundlanders," says Erjavec. "It's time for government and its employees to take a hard look at pension reform. We need a solution that is equitable and fair to taxpayers, business owners and public service workers."
Newfoundland and Labrador's restaurant industry directly employs nearly 13,200 people at 1,076 establishments. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians are first employed by the restaurant industry, making it the number one source of first jobs.
CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's $63-billion restaurant industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.
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