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New year’s hit on small businesses rings in call for PC jobs plan

The latest blows to small businesses from the McGuinty government make the Ontario PC Small Business Jobs Plan more timely than ever, said Prince Edward Hastings MPP Todd Smith, who is Small Business and Red Tape Critic.

Smith’s comments follow the January 1 imposition of a new Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payroll tax for staff, managers and business partners in the construction industry – and an across-the-board two per cent payroll tax hike on all other WSIB sectors – which small business leaders have said will result in higher prices, job cuts and business bankruptcies.

“Ontario small businesses – the backbone of our struggling economy – are saying ‘enough is enough’ from the McGuinty government,” Smith said.

Job creators are already reeling from a mounting red-tape burden, rising Hydro rates, a higher dollar harming exports, mounting fears of another credit downgrade for Ontario and a likely about-face by the Premier on business tax rates, Smith noted.

“And now this. Our businesses need to know that Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party are in their corner, with a comprehensive Small Business Jobs Plan to help them do what they do best: create jobs and grow our economy.”

Key elements of the Ontario PC Small Business Jobs Plan include:
• a formal, impossible-to-ignore voice for small business in any new legislation or regulation that affects our economy
• legislation to ensure fast, efficient, customer-friendly government service standards for small businesses
• opening opportunities for small businesses to compete for government contracts
• a reduction of the regulatory burden facing small employers by one-third over three years
• the appointment of a Minister Responsible for Red Tape Reduction
• giving small businesses a choice over mandatory “smart meter” energy pricing, and
• the enactment of a Small Business Bill of Rights enshrining all of the above

Smith said his Party’s Small Business Jobs Plan was just one of the Ontario PC Caucus’ constructive policy ideas. “Others include a mandatory public sector wage freeze, modernizing Ontario’s apprenticeship system, a top-to-bottom review of all spending areas, an end to corporate welfare and the introduction of alternate service delivery, to name just a few.”

“All constitute a refreshing alternative to a McGuinty government that demonstrated over the fall of 2011 that it has run out of steam,” Smith added. “So if this premier is also out of ideas – as he so plainly is – he is welcome to ours.”

Filed Under: Local News

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