OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance, along with the Teamsters and Owner/Operators Business Association of Canada (OBAC) are spearheading an attempt to have the meal allowance for truckers restored to 80%.
The trucking groups are kicking off a campaign today, aimed at allowing Canadian truckers to deduct 80% of their meal costs for tax purposes. It currently sits at 50%, where it has been since a 1994 federal budget clause was introduced, aimed at limiting the amount big business could claim while entertaining clients at lavish restaurants.
Truckers were caught in the middle, the CTA points out, and with the US clamping down on the types of food truckers can carry across the border, its becoming more expensive than ever to eat on the road.
In the US, the trucker meal allowance was also reduced around the same time, but regulators south of the border soon began restoring the limit to 80%. It will be fully restored to 80% by 2008 in the US.
The Canadian campaign is being directed towards federal Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty. The three trucking groups will try to convince Flaherty truckers should not be lumped in with businesses where entertaining clients and doing the lunch and dinner circuit is a part of the culture.
As Flaherty prepares the 2007 federal budget, the trucking groups are appealing to drivers to join the End Canadas Lunch Bag Let-Down Campaign by mailing in postcards that will be distributed through pay packages, at truck stops and at trade shows. The postcard can also be downloaded and printed at the OBAC and CTA Web sites (www.obac.ca and www.cantruck.com).
Its time for the government of Canada to do the right thing and stop eating our drivers lunch, says OBAC executive director, Joanne Ritchie.
When a US and Canadian truck driver sit down side-by-side in the same truck stop, eating the same breakfast, its very hard to stomach the fact that one of them is getting an 80% write-off while the other gets only 50%, points out Teamsters spokesman, Phil Benson. Its not fair or reasonable.
Adds David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance We are not talking about lavish meals with $100 bottles of wine here; this is about absolute subsistence, pure and simple.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News