For Immediate Release
February 21, 2018
Key Investments in Housing and Childcare - But Business Braces for Tax Hike
Yesterday’s provincial budget reflects a social agenda with meaningful investments in both housing attainability and childcare – two areas of deep interest to the BC Chamber network – but it leaves the business community to pick up a $1.92 billion tab on MSP by the fiscal year 2020.
The BC Chamber’s 2017-18 Collective Perspective survey flagged “affordability of housing” as the top issue “hurting” businesses in BC. Yesterday's announcements, intended to stabilize the market and curb demand with investments of more than $6 billion over 10 years, are a welcome move.
As is the government's $1 billion investment to create a universal child care plan that will allow more women to return to the workplace. Both initiatives will address another key challenge in BC’s tight labour market: recruiting and retaining staff.
"While the Chamber is encouraged to see the government deliver a balanced budget it is of great concern to see that it looks to be balanced on the backs of the business community", said Abbotsford Chamber Executive Director Allan Asaph. "The election promise to phase out MSP is coming at an unexpected cost to business of almost $2 billion by 2020-21 and in 2019 the introduction of the Employer Health Tax means some employers will be paying both MSP and the new tax."
Asaph notes that "There is a growing concern from our members that, as the government looks to expand its social agenda, it does not consider the cumulative impact of these economic considerations on the ability of the business community to remain innovative and competitive in a demanding marketplace."
The Chamber's Government Affairs Committee will be reviewing the new budget and will respond to the government with their concerns.
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce represents 700+ members and is THE voice for business in Abbotsford. Our mission is to build and sustain a thriving business community through our strategic objectives to Advocate, Benefit and Connect.