EDMONTON, March 27, 2015 – Given Alberta’s current fiscal situation, Restaurants Canada is relieved the moderate liquor markup announced in yesterday’s budget is manageable.
“We had anticipated a tough budget with a liquor markup increase due to the decline in oil revenue in 2014,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada’s Vice President, Western Canada. “It’s always difficult for Alberta’s highly competitive, low-margin restaurant industry to absorb or pass along cost increases. However, it’s important to remember this is the first time the Alberta government has increased liquor taxes in 13 years.”
Alberta’s restaurant industry has traditionally led the country in sales and employment growth. This lead is due to the province’s tax competitiveness, which has allowed Albertans more disposable income than other Canadians.
“Restaurants Canada is pleased the budget’s balanced approach maintains the province’s business competitiveness,” said von Schellwitz. “No hikes to the business income tax and more disposable income for lower-income families allow Albertans to continue having money in their pockets to spend in restaurants. This is reinforced by the government’s continued rejection of a sales tax.”
Alberta’s $10-billion restaurant industry is one of the largest private-sector employers in the province. It directly employs close to 150,000 Albertans in every community across the province. The province’s restaurant industry created 6,600 jobs in 2014 alone.
Restaurants Canada is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $68 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than one million people in communities across the country.