~ CGA-Canada responds to budget 2012~
OTTAWA, March 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Individual Canadians and corporations have repeatedly asked government to simplify the requirements for filing tax in Canada. The annual cost of compliance is $12.6 billion for Canadian business alone. However, today's budget came up short on this one critical measure. Changes to the tax system announced are piecemeal and will not bring the significant change required to give Canada the cost-effective and efficient tax system it needs.
"This is unfortunate, considering the impact tax simplification would have for every Canadian household and every Canadian business," says Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada). "We hoped for more, and, frankly, this was a missed opportunity for a win-win situation."
In other areas, the government has followed through on its promise to cut spending and balance the budget. Measures introduced include:
• 6.9 per cent reduction of the review base in departmental spending over three years.
• Elimination of the deficit by 2015/16.
• Changing the Old Age Security pension age eligibility, on a phased-in approach starting on April 1, 2023, from 65 to 67.
• Reforms to the Public Sector Pension Plan, moving over time to a 50/50 contribution ratio and changing the retirement age from 60 to 65 for those joining the public service in 2013.
• Federal workforce numbers to be reduced by almost five per cent, with jobs in the national capital region mostly affected.
"We are pleased, overall, with the commitment to fiscal prudence," says Ariganello. "It's time to get our house in order after the recent stimulus package spending. Deficit reduction is the first order of business for this government if we are going to get Canada back on track."
CGA-Canada is pleased to see the federal government has delivered a plan that will not only address the deficit but encourage innovation through mechanisms like industry-academic research partnerships and a $400-million dollar commitment to help increase private sector investment in early stage risk capital. This will ensure growth into the future.
And on the fate of the penny, Ariganello adds "If you want my two-cents worth, retiring the penny is long overdue."
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and more than 90 countries. Respected accounting and financial management professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.
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