REGINA (March 20, 2017) – In response to Premier Brad Wall’s pre-budget announcement today, the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA) applauds the provincial government’s commitment to control spending and reform the tax system, but cautions against taxing growth in a recovery.
The SCA recognizes the wisdom of returning to balance over three years rather than risking the province’s ongoing recovery with a shocking $1.2 billion correction in a single budget. A managed deficit accompanied by a plan for growth and a path back to balance will keep Saskatchewan on track to achieve a 1.7% growth forecast.
The SCA has advocated for just such a measure in several recent interviews and letters (listed below) because Saskatchewan cannot afford to undermine consumer and investor confidence in a fragile recovery.
The SCA also supports moving away from dependence on resource revenues.
However, the Association strongly cautions against taxing growth in a recovery by applying PST to construction labour which would increase the cost of new buildings, homes and industrial sites as well as any renovation projects. As Saskatchewan would be alone in taxing construction labour in western Canada, this tax would be both a disincentive to invest and make the province less competitive with our neighbours.
Construction is the province’s second largest private sector employer and the industry is successful based on investor confidence in growth and strong economic conditions. While Saskatchewan’s economy struggled through the decline in resource prices the construction sector was among the worst hit. As Saskatchewan’s economy shed 0.9% of its workforce in 2016, construction employment dropped 8.7%.
The SCA will be monitoring the upcoming budget and will be available for comment on Budget Day, March 22, 2017. If you are interested in scheduling time to speak, please see the contact information below.
SCA comments on the budget:
For more information, contact:
John Lax, Manager
Saskatchewan Construction Association