The federal government believes changing the small business tax provisions is a way to make the tax system more just, but the opposition calls it a threat.
To drive that second point home, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer shared his concerns with the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon Tuesday.
“We shouldn’t have a government that’s looking for new ways to threaten the financial security of Canadians — that’s one thing we should be able to count on,” said Scheer.
To make sure Canadians are paying their fair share of taxes, the federal Liberal government is looking to do three things: restrict income sprinkling, which is when business owners share income to family members in lower tax brackets; prevent corporate owners from converting income to capital gains; limit passive investments.
The new leader of the opposition believes these suggested changes would be detrimental to employment rates.
“Having to take that money out, just to pay a tax bill, will kill jobs,” predicted Scheer, adding that he’s spoken to others, including business owners, who feel the same way.
However, that’s the opposite of what federal minister Ralph Goodale said last week when he spoke about the proposed changes at the University of Regina.
“The minister of finance and the Prime Minister have said that the objectives are clear — to support growth, to support real job growth, to support real job creation, expansions in the economy and to support the ability of business enterprises of all kinds,” Goodale listed.
But Scheer insists small family businesses will suffer.
“The CEOs of large corporations and big businesses aren’t going to be affected by this — this is an attack on the middle class, on the very people who create jobs for working Canadians,” explained Scheer.
The Regina and District Chamber of Commerce announced at its event Tuesday that it, along with the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, all stand beside Scheer on this topic.
The 75-day public consultation period regarding these proposed changes to the small business tax is now underway and ends Oct. 2.