QUEEN’S PARK – “Today’s Ontario Chamber of Commerce report shows that only 30% of Ontario’s businesses have confidence in the Liberal Government’s handling of the provincial economy, clear proof Kathleen Wynne is leading the province in the wrong direction,” said Nipissing MPP and PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli.
Fedeli was referring to the Chamber’s polling, contained within their 2016 version of Emerging Stronger, which showed only 30% of Ontario businesses had confidence in the provincial economy, down from 47% in 2012. The report went on to show that 69% of businesses feel Ontario is actually further away from restoring fiscal balance now than in 2012.
“Whether it’s having the largest debt of any subnational government in the world, skyrocketing hydro rates, excessive red tape or the new Ontario payroll tax, Ontario is becoming one of the hardest places to do business,” said Fedeli.
The lack of business confidence comes only months after the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a letter signed by more than 150 major employers and local chambers warning the Premier that the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) will cost Ontario jobs. This mandatory payroll tax will further erode business competitiveness, reduce the take-home pay of workers, and kill thousands of jobs.
“If the Liberals won’t listen to the coalition of over 150 Chambers of Commerce and major employers, they should at least listen to their own Ministry documents that show this payroll tax will cost 30,000 jobs a year,” Fedeli said. “If we continue down this path, without listening to those involved, we’ll find hard working Ontarians out of work at no fault of their own.”
The new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is set to start on January 1st, 2017 even though many employers still have not even been contacted by the Government about their eligibility or expected costs.
“The province is headed down the wrong path on the payroll tax and with the general economy,” Fedeli added. “The business community is speaking loud and clear. It’s the Premier’s turn to listen.”