The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce responds to the 2012 Provincial budget
In its 2012 pre-budget submission to the Minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs, the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce looked for deficit reduction, greater government operational efficiency, a better competitive position for the business community and attention to the below-standard outcomes of Island students. The provincial budget presented today delivered on many of those counts according to Chamber President, Kathryn Coll.
“We are pleased to see that the Province has committed to a three-year deficit reduction program and greater government efficiency,” says Coll. “However, the Chamber is concerned that the deficit reduction is based on private sector economic growth projections which may be challenging to realize.”
While the budget announced investments in post-secondary education and students, the Chamber’s pre-budget submission singled out the below-average education outcomes realized by our elementary and secondary school students. “Both the province and the city are committed to attracting and retaining new businesses and skilled professionals, but concerns have been raised by prospective newcomers about the quality of the provincial education system,” said the Chamber President.
Business competitiveness was also identified as a key issue by the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is concerned about the implications of the announced increase in as yet unidentified government fees which are estimated at over $7 million.
“A Harmonized Sales Tax will have the effect of leveling the playing field for many of our member businesses,” said Kathryn Coll. “The Chamber looks forward to working closely with the Provincial Government as they develop their implementation plan to ensure that the business community realizes maximum benefits and that any potential negative impacts on particular sectors are minimized.”
The Chamber acknowledges that the 2012 budget process presented substantial challenges for the Provincial Government and commends the government for taking difficult decisions. Stated Coll, “We recognize the steps taken to balance the budget and wonder if government initiatives will be sufficient to enable the projected growth in the private sector economy.”
Media contact: Kathryn Coll (902) 628-2000 email@example.com
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the “Voice of Business” on economic issues for its 900 members representing over 17,500 employees in small, medium and large enterprises in the capital region. To view the Chamber’s pre-budget submission, visit www.charlottetownchamber.com