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Ontario budget must recognize role of manufacturing: CME

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- ThenextOntario provincial budget must recognize the contribution of the manufacturing sect...

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — ThenextOntario provincial budget must recognize the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy according to Ian Howcroft, Ontario vice-president of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). Howcroft spoke at a pre-budget hearing in Niagara Falls.

“We need a budget that supports innovation; we are not going to strengthen the manufacturing sector with a tax regime that isn’t competitive,” he said.

In CME’s presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Howcroft outlined the current state of affairs for manufacturers and exporters.

“Skyrocketing input costs and competition from developing nations such as India and China, combined with the rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar are creating the perfect storm of challenges for industry. We are calling on the government to eliminate the capital tax immediately. This government has already recognized the capital tax as a disincentive to investment and to eliminate it, so why delay?” Howcroft said.

“Ontario’s tax structure is uncompetitive. The best way to improve the tax regime would be to reduce the general business tax rate in Ontario to 12 per cent. This would free up much needed capital for new investment. The government has a great opportunity to stimulate economic growth for Ontario.”

In its pre-budget submission, CME called for a variety of tax reforms, including elimination of the capital tax, enhancement of capital recovery system and acceleration of the CCA write-off period, as well as elimination of the corporate minimum tax, the surtax on personal income and the withholding tax. Other priorities included a comprehensive strategy for skills development and specialized training, action on transportation infrastructure, an open electricity market and proactive initiatives to enhance innovation and improve productivity in the province.

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