With the release of the Ontario Budget yesterday, there are a lot of calls coming in to the Cabin asking how we feel it has supported (or not) requests and needs from the business community.
Back in January, I ventured to Kingston on a very snowy day to have 3 minutes in front of the Minister of Finance. Our ask on your behalf was to increase training and access to training for under-skilled adults, investment in internet/broadband infrastructure and a lowering of the Personal and Corporate Income tax rate.
There is money in this budget for training – predominantly for skilled trades which we still struggle to source in our area so that should be good news.
There is a planned investment of $500 million in broadband infrastructure – so if that comes together, we should see the benefits in our region.
They have not lowered the corporate income tax rate and in fact, followed the lead of the federal government to restrict passive investment (which is a lifeline for a self-employed/small business owner). This is expected to result in an additional $350 million in new taxes for Ontario businesses in the next three years.
One might argue the businesses should pay but we have to remember what gets paid to the government does not get paid to employees. This ultimately impedes business growth or interest in expansion and may detract from new businesses coming to Ontario. Business and profits are seen as the opposition to a fair Ontario where in fact, support for business is support for anyone working. I continue to look for ways to emphasize we are on the same side – a healthy economy, well paid employees are happy consumers – but when the government wants to take more from the pockets of businesses – that money does not go into the pockets of the people.
We need to remember a government that doesn’t support business growth and sustainability is a government that also overlooks supporting the employees of those businesses. In the coming months leading up to the election, we will be looking for candidates to identify better ways to support the economy at large by supporting business and their investment in the people that work for them. It does not happen with minimum wage but with the freedom to manage profit in a way that allows a business to reinvest in itself and grow.