Under the Strengthening Business pillar in the business-centered election platform, Vote Prosperity, there are five recommendations around energy and electricity costs; regulation and red tape; cap and trade; and tax policy.
As is recognized in the report the biggest challenge for the business community is continued increases in input costs, especially those created through public policy. These changes to public policy have many
businesses feeling overwhelmed by the cumulative regulatory burden they face including:
Ontario’s electricity prices have risen by 71% from 2008 to 2016, far outpacing electricity price growth in other provinces, as well as increases in income and inflation.
Overregulation imposes the equivalent of an additional 5 to 15 percent import tariff on small businesses compared to larger firms, due to small firms’ inability to appropriately navigate the regulatory environment. With 380,000 regulations (by the government’s own count), Ontario is the most administered province in the country, harming business competitiveness.
In Ontario, 32 percent of businesses believe that cap and trade costs in 2017-2018 will have a negative impact on their business, limiting their ability to hire new workers and/or scale up.
Small businesses in Ontario pay the highest tax rate in a comparison of neighbouring jurisdictions.
Reinstate scheduled reductions in the Corporate Income Tax, standardize the Business Education Tax and reduce the Employer Health Tax.
Corporate Income Tax (CIT):
In the 2009 budget the government pledged to reduce the CIT rate from 11.5% to 10% over three years. This reduction has not materialized despite the government saying that such a move would lead to:
These are all recommendations that are internal to Ontario to help improve business competitiveness. By creating a structure that works for Ontario businesses we are also setting the stage to be competitive nationally and internationally.
Learn more through the Peterborough Chamber Toolkit