Federal budget generally good news for restaurateurs, customers

Published March 22, 2016

OTTAWA, March 22, 2016 – A budget with no surprises is generally a good thing. Restaurants Canada was pleased to see few surprises in this afternoon’s federal budget, with promises of consultation in many areas of interest to restaurateurs.

“We were pleased to see enhancements in the areas of youth employment, tourism, and immigration,” says Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President Government Affairs at Restaurants Canada. “These are all promising initiatives that bode well for the future of our industry.”

Good news for restaurants includes:

  • A renewed youth employment strategy with $165 million in additional funding for vulnerable youths, and other initiatives to expand employment opportunities for young Canadians, including $339 million for an expanded Canada Summer Jobs program
  • A commitment to review spending and the tax system to make it more efficient and effective
  • $50 million in additional funding to promote Canada as a tourist destination
  • Tax breaks that will lead to an increase in disposable income for the middle class
  • Higher permanent resident admissions, with more funding to process permanent residents and settlement programs.

On the flip side, Restaurants Canada was disappointed the government is breaking its election promise to reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. While the rate will decrease this year from 11% to 10.5%, future cuts remain up in the air.

In addition, changes to the employment insurance program threaten to increase costs and reduce the availability of workers.

“Although we would have liked to see employer EI premiums drop as part of the revisions to the program, there are some positive measures for the industry,” says Reynolds. “We look forward to further consultations with the government on how we can contribute to a strong and growing economy.”

Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. Founded in 1944, we connect our members from coast to coast through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry serves 18 million customers every day, and directly employs 1.2 million Canadians.

Media Contact: Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, cell 416-738-9204 or jreynolds@restaurantscanada.org; Beth Pollock Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254 or media@restaurantscanada.org.

Restaurants Canada Digital

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