Provincial Post Budget RecapMarch 31, 2023
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is pleased with many aspects of the 2023/2024 Provincial Budget, but it does fall short in addressing a few priorities that are important to our members.
Here are some of the wins and losses for business in Saskatchewan.
Wins for Business
- The Saskatchewan Chamber is pleased to see no new taxes and no new tax increases in the 2023/2024 provincial budget. This is an important measure while business continues to recover from COVID-19.
- Fiscal responsibility has always been valued by SCC members. With a $1B surplus, the government of Saskatchewan has prioritized paying down debt and positioning Saskatchewan as an economic powerhouse.
- The 2023/2024 provincial budget sees a record $3.7B capital investment into infrastructure, a 17% increase over last year. These investments will improve quality of life, support economic growth, create jobs, and help power businesses in Saskatchewan.
- Saskatchewan is focused on mitigating the labour crisis through support for health care professionals, including the training of internationally educated health care providers. The province will also see a $5.4M increase for Newcomer Settlement to help the SINP operations, reduce waitlists, and assist Ukrainian refugees landing in Saskatchewan.
- The government of Saskatchewan is investing in the green economy through significant expansions to the Saskatchewan Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, the Targeted Mineral Exploration Incentive, and to improve systems for geoscience data collection and reporting.
Losses for Business
- The SCC hoped for a continuation of the 0% small business tax rate (COVID measure originally) to help address our taxation competitiveness challenge, however businesses will see the rate increase to 1% on July 1, 2023 and 2% on July 1, 2024. The SCC will now turn its efforts towards getting a postponement of the planned 2024 increase.
- In an October 2022 survey of the SCC membership, 60% of respondents indicated their business was under considerable pressure from the expanding PST. The 2023/2024 budget failed to address the challenges businesses face from the PST, specifically on construction projects.
- The 2023/2024 budget failed to introduce new investment tax incentives for small businesses. Access to the capital that is required for small businesses to grow effectively has been limited. Incentives to support investment could help launch more start-up businesses or help existing businesses expand.