March 22, 2023
For Immediate Release
Growth That Works for Everyone: Saskatchewan Chamber Reacts to Provincial Budget
Regina, SK – The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is pleased with many aspects of today’s Provincial Budget but it does fall short in addressing a few priorities that are important to our members.
A survey of SCC members identified several priorities heading into this budget. They included:
1.)Overall fiscal responsibility
2.)Municipal/rural Infrastructure investments including highways
3.)Health care spending increase
4.)Education spending increase
6.)Corporation Tax reductions
The SCC is very pleased to note there are no new taxes or tax increases. However, the budget misses the mark in two key areas. The 2023/24 Provincial Budget does not address PST and Corporate Tax reform. Saskatchewan is one of only three provinces still taxing most businesses on their inputs through the application of the PST. This has a detrimental effect on competitiveness, investment, and growth. In addition, the Government's decision not to continue the temporary freeze of the Small Business Tax rate at 0% will further increase the cost of doing business here.
“Business is the driver of Saskatchewan’s strengthening fiscal position,” said Prabha Ramaswamy, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “It is critical to address PST and Corporate Tax reform to enhance competitiveness.”
Fortunately, the Provincial Government has delivered on several of SCC member priorities including a $1 billion surplus that will be used to pay down operating debt. The Government is making the biggest investment in infrastructure ever at $3.7 B – $543.4 m over last year – a 17% increase. For the Saskatchewan business community this supports job creation and opportunities in the province. The $5 million investment in newcomer settlement and immigration is another important step in solving the province’s labour crisis.
The Government is also increasing its investment in health care and education which will help improve the quality of lives for our residents. This will also aide in the attraction of much-needed skilled labour.
The Saskatchewan business community wants growth that works for everyone, including our private businesses. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is committed to working with government to develop a competitive tax regime that includes incentives, and reduces regulatory burden.