Saskatchewan balances budget on the backs of struggling restaurateurs

Published March 25, 2019

While Restaurants Canada commends the government of Saskatchewan for unveiling a balanced budget without increasing any taxes or fees for businesses, the foodservice sector still needs relief from the new provincial meal tax introduced in 2017.

Restaurants Canada congratulates the government of Saskatchewan for introducing a balanced budget for 2019-20 but is disappointed that it will come at the cost of continued losses for foodservice operators.

Restaurateurs have lost more than $100 million in sales as a result of the government increasing the provincial sales tax to 6 per cent in 2017 and removing the exemption on restaurant meals. A balanced budget likely wouldn’t have been achievable if not for the substantial extra revenue generated from these changes.

The new tax on restaurant meals has hit the foodservice and hospitality industry particularly hard, as food sold in grocery stores is still completely exempt from provincial sales tax. Foodservice sales rose by only 1.6 per cent in 2018, and industry employment growth has also suffered, especially for youth.

With less job opportunities available, 6,000 fewer youth were looking for work over the past year. As the number one provider of first-time jobs in the province, Saskatchewan’s foodservice sector is in desperate need of relief so that it can provide more entry-level experience to young workers.

Click here to learn more about the Saskatchewan Budget for 2019-20.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at mark@restaurantscanada.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 6500.

Restaurants Canada Digital

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