TORONTO, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has called for a two-pronged approach to balancing the books: deficit reduction and a clear focus on growth and transforming the Ontario economy for the 21st century. Overall, today's budget positions us to move in this direction.
The OCC recognizes that the 2012 Ontario Budget made difficult choices as the province's debt repayments rank as the third largest area of expenditure after education and health care. The budget's main focus on reducing the deficit is certainly the top priority for Ontario businesses - and is a key factor in the economic vitality of the province and our ability to deliver critical government programs. But to lay the groundwork for future growth and prosperity, austerity is only one side of the equation. A vision for future economic growth is the other.
"Today, we are calling on the Government to work with the Ontario Chamber Network and other stakeholders to grow its top line in order to balance the books," said Allan O'Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Innovation, a 21st century workforce, fiscal balance, taking advantage of global opportunities and identifying our competitive advantages are of fundamental importance if Ontario is to be more productive, more competitive and more global."
A significant part of that global competitiveness is the provincial tax environment. While the Ontario Chamber of Commerce was expecting a delay in the corporate income tax (CIT) reduction, we expect the Government will meet its deficit reduction targets and implement the CIT reductions in 2017-18, or earlier.
Recognizing the business community must do its part in moving Ontario towards 21st century prosperity, the OCC supports the consultation of the private sector in modifications to business supports and would welcome an invitation to join the Jobs and Prosperity Council described in the budget.
"Every individual, every business and every community across Ontario is in this together," said O'Dette. "We must focus on growing the economy of this great province so, together, we can emerge stronger."
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC): The OCC is a network of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. Being recognized as the single, most influential and respected voice for business in Ontario, OCC's over-arching goal is to build a world renowned business environment that creates a more competitive Ontario.
For further information:
or to schedule an interview, contact:
Jody Lundrigan,Manager of Media and Communications
P: 416-482-5222, ext 2410