TORONTO, April 23, 2015 – The Ontario government missed the chance to fix a major problem with the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan that will put the brakes on youth employment and unfairly tax lower income earners.
Restaurants Canada had proposed that those earning less than $25,000 a year be exempt from the new tax, so that youth jobs would not be affected.
“The potential damage of the ORPP to youth employment must be a priority,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada’s Vice President Ontario. “This tax on jobs will hurt youth first, at a time when youth unemployment is already high.”
Restaurants Canada will continue working with the government to come up with solutions that will encourage employers to create jobs for youth – for example, raising the ORPP contribution age.
“Most young people will see no benefit from the ORPP contributions they make at this very early stage of their careers,” said Rilett. “Raising the contribution age makes sense for employers and employees.”
In other budget announcements, changes to the beer retail system which were previously announced provide little benefit to the bar and pub sector.
“While we applaud the government for being the first to make changes, there is limited benefit to our industry,” said Rilett. “Major brewers will still be able to gouge our members with higher-than-retail prices, with only low-volume licensees escaping their grip.”
The changes will allow some restaurants with low beer sales to buy at retail prices, but pubs and bars that are being hurt most by the two-tiered pricing will get no relief.
Ontario’s restaurant industry employs more than 458,000 Ontarians and contributes $28 billion a year to the provincial economy.
Restaurants Canada is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their supplier partners.