FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2013

WINNIPEG – Today’s Manitoba budget further shrinks the size of the economic pie by raising taxes and labour costs, on top of a hike in liquor prices. All three increases will directly hit the province’s restaurant industry, making it harder for one of Manitoba’s largest employment sectors to drive economic growth and create jobs.

“This budget deals a real blow to our industry,” says Dwayne Marling, Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice-President of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). “Restaurateurs already struggling with tight profit margins will feel the pinch even more. Instead of growing the pie, this budget leaves Manitobans fighting over crumbs.”

Today’s budget raises the PST by one per cent and hikes the minimum wage by 20 cents. These hits are in addition to government’s previously announced 10-per-cent increase in beer and spirit prices.

“Government has flatly shut out our industry with these increases,” says Marling. “This budget makes government richer at the expense of small businesses.”

In pre-budget consultations, CRFA had presented government with recommendations that would create a more progressive and fair liquor pricing system with less red tape, hold taxes steady, and reduce the province’s labour shortage. CRFA will continue to raise these issues on behalf of our members.

As Manitoba’s fourth-largest private-sector employer, the restaurant industry directly employs more than 42,400 people at over 2,200 establishments. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians were first employed by the restaurant industry, making it the number one source of first jobs.

CRFA 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 $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.

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