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CTA talks budget with feds

OTTAWA, Ont. - Hundreds of groups across Canada petitioned the Federal Finance Committee for beneficial recommendations for a pre-budget report and the Canadian Trucking Alliance was pleased with the ...


OTTAWA, Ont. – Hundreds of groups across Canada petitioned the Federal Finance Committee for beneficial recommendations for a pre-budget report and the Canadian Trucking Alliance was pleased with the initial results.

On Dec. 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance tabled its pre-budget report for 2006 entitled, Canada: Competing to Win. The report contains 43 recommendations based on testimony received from more than 400 groups and individuals during cross-country hearings held in September and October.

If getting some of your issues mentioned in the report is the first step towards achieving some tax changes, then CTA can be somewhat encouraged. CTA was specifically cited on three key issues in the report:

Driver Meal Deductibility – In its discussion of personal income taxation the committee noted that, “because of the nature of their work, truck drivers have meal expenses that, unlike many other employees, are necessary work expenses. Questioning the fairness of a restriction on what may be seen as a legitimate business expense, the Canadian Trucking Alliance asked that the tax deductibility for meals, which was decreased from 80% to 50% in the 1990’s, be restored to 80%.”

CCA Rate Acceleration for Trucks – The committee report states that a “number of witnesses proposed enhanced CCA rates for environmentally friendly investments” and specifically highlighted the fact that “the Canadian Trucking Alliance advocated the establishment of accelerated CCA rates for the acquisition of near-zero emission trucks, with a sunset clause to encourage rapid introduction of the technology.”

Infrastructure – Saying “the state of a country’s infrastructure is an important influence on economic growth and competitiveness,” the committee reports that “several witnesses, including the Canadian Trucking Alliance, suggested that the federal government dedicate a substantial portion of its fuel excise tax revenues to predictable, long-term funding for Canada’s roads and highways.” The committee also heard that border delays reduce economic activity.

While the Minister of Finance is under no obligation to consider the finance committee’s report, David Bradley, CEO of the trucking alliance points out that “it is directionally similar to the minister’s own Advantage Canada economic plan, so one would hope that we will begin to see some of this thinking show up in the upcoming budget.” However, Bradley cautions, that “with all the competing interests and demands on government, there are no guarantees so there is still a lot of work to be done now and in the years to come.”


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