Business federation urges changes in CPP deal

A business organization has urged the government to consider modifying its pension plan changes to lessen their impact on small business owners

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has filed Freedom of Information requests with eight provinces and the federal government over the Canadian Pension Plan agreement.

The CFIB said it wants to know if the government performed an economic impact analysis before the provinces signed on to the agreement in principle, according to a release.

“It's disappointing enough to see finance ministers put Canadian jobs in jeopardy,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “To do it behind closed doors, without the public consultation promised in the 2016 federal budget or any economic impact analysis, on a short and arbitrary deadline, is irresponsible.”

The organization also sent open letters to premiers and the prime minister asking them to share any analyses they did on the deal prior to the July 15 signing deadline, according to the release. The letter urged leaders to delay a final deal until amendments can be made to lighten the burden of any adjustments and implement strategies to help small firms adjust. CFIB has launched a survey of small business owners to gather opinions about the CPP deal, according to the release.

The CFIB urged governments to add amendments to the deal that would soften its impact on “small business owners and low-income Canadians” – in particular, Quebec’s proposal to exempt additional employer and employee premiums on the first half of pensionable income, the organization stated. The CFIB also wants an exemption for the self-employed.

“It appears many governments are underestimating how close to the line a lot of small firms are operating,” Kelly said. “If governments are determined to gamble with the economy on a CPP hike, we ask them to commit to measures to lessen the negative impact on small business, such as reinstating the small business corporate tax cuts cancelled in the last budget, cutting provincial small business and payroll taxes and freezing minimum wages. The CPP is too big, and affects too many Canadians, to rush an agreement to please Ontario.”

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