Finance Minister Girard expected to table 2021-2022 budget in March
Leading towards the tabling of the next provincial probably budget in March by the CAQ government, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s Quebec lobby is asking the government to go easy on taxes paid by small and medium-size businesses, and to also implement measures to deal effectively with ongoing labour shortages.
Open to advice
In a statement issued by CFIB-Quebec, the organization’s vice-president said they met recently with Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard to pass along some of their suggestions and recommendations to the provincial government.
‘This budget won’t be like any other and shouldn’t be for that matter,’ says CFIB-Quebec vice-president François Vincent
“This budget represents an opportunity for the government of Quebec to place the SMEs at the centre of their economic strategy,” said François Vincent, noting the current challenges that include the COVID-19 pandemic as well as unfavourable tax regulations.
“This budget won’t be like any other and shouldn’t be for that matter,” he said. “It should send a strong signal that the government is ready to take important actions which favour SMEs, because they make up the most important aspect in the fabric of the regional economy.”
Looming cash flow crunch
According to CFIB-Quebec, 75 per cent of small and medium businesses in Quebec haven’t yet returned to normal revenue levels as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll. In the meantime, the group predicts that one business out of three will be facing cash flow problems before June, and that 11 per cent are at risk of shutting permanently with a loss of 300,000 jobs across the province.
CFIB-Quebec maintains that reducing the tax burden would help businesses to survive, while also allowing them to repay debt, increase salaries to employees, invest in new machinery and hire new workers. In addition to these concerns, CFIB-Quebec said labour shortages continue to hold back some sectors of the province’s economy and need attention from the government.
Budget expected in March
Finance Minister Girard announced the start of online pre-budget consultations in early January. The consultations ran until Feb. 5.
‘The next budget will be particularly important for Quebec’s future’ – Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard
Over the last few weeks, Girard met with representatives of organizations from various sectors “to discuss their vision and ideas regarding Quebec’s economic and social development,” said a statement issued by the provincial finance ministry.
“The next budget will be particularly important for Quebec’s future,” said Girard. A list of the organizations that submitted briefs is available on the Ministry of Finance website at: consultations.finances.gouv.qc.ca.