FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2014

WINNIPEG – Restaurants Canada and the hospitality industry welcomed government’s commitment to balance the provincial budget by 2016-2017, but are disappointed by the lack of meaningful moves to reduce taxes and increase Manitobans’ discretionary spending power. Restaurant industry growth depends on disposable income, and the government’s own budget document shows food and beverage sales fell in 2013 – a clear result of the PST increase from last year’s budget.

“This budget does little to help Manitoba’s restaurants grow and prosper,” said Dwayne Marling, Restaurant Canada’s Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice President. “It is frustrating that the government has pre-empted the work of the Labour Management Review Committee by announcing an unknown increase in minimum wage. The issue of bracket creep of taxation rates has also been ignored.”

However, Restaurants Canada is pleased to keep working with government to implement the province’s modernized liquor laws, and will continue to push for a simpler, transparent liquor markup and taxation system that offers licensees a wholesale discount. Restaurants Canada is also encouraged by the leadership role this government has taken in committing to the Informed Dining program in Manitoba, and as well as promoting its adoption across the country.

Manitoba’s $2-billion restaurant industry is one of the province’s largest economic and employment sectors. It directly employs more than 43,000 people in communities across Manitoba.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.

Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.

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