Regina – Today’s Saskatchewan budget forecasts a $365 million deficit in 2018-19 and a return to a balanced budget with a forecast $6 million surplus in 2019-20.
Restaurants Canada is pleased that there are no new tax increases, and that this budget includes a 1.4 per cent decrease in expenditures to help balance the books by 2020.
However, the Saskatchewan government has not done enough to offset the pain of last year’s anti-foodservice budget. From liquor mark-up increases and a 1 per cent increase in the PST rate to 6 per cent, to the critical 6 per cent tax instituted on restaurant meals, the combined impact of the 2017 provincial budget had a devastating impact on Saskatchewan’s foodservice industry. As a result of these tax increases, Saskatchewan restaurant sales were down by a staggering 4.5 per cent, resulting in the loss of 1,700 industry jobs.
In order for Saskatchewan’s foodservice industry to thrive once more, those taxes must be reduced or eliminated altogether.
“Restaurants Canada is disappointed that today’s budget provides no relief for the province’s struggling restaurant industry, which is one of Saskatchewan’s largest private sector job creators,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada. “A 4.5 per cent drop in sales in just one year compared to average sales growth of 4.1 per cent in the rest of Canada demonstrates how damaging last year’s budget measures were to Saskatchewan’s foodservice industry.”
Restaurants Canada continues to work with the Saskatchewan government to find ways to help the province’s restaurant industry return to positive sales and employment growth.
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. Saskatchewan’s $2.3 billion restaurant industry is Saskatchewan’s fourth largest employer employing more than 36,425 people in communities across the province.