For immediate release
SCA against tax on growth
REGINA (March 22, 2017) – Today’s budget decision by the Government of Saskatchewan to apply the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) to construction labour puts the province at a competitive disadvantage, raises new barriers to investment, and emboldens the ‘underground’ economy, according to the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA).
Saskatchewan will become the only jurisdiction in Western Canada to fully tax construction labour, which increases the cost of development and renovation across the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors. As a result, spending will be deferred, and other cost-cutting measures, such as the use of unregistered and uninsured contractors, may become more common.
“The addition of the PST onto construction labour is a tax on growth,” says SCA President & CEO Mark Cooper. “We are disappointed with the timing of the decision, especially during a period of softened consumer and investor confidence. It makes Saskatchewan less competitive, and less attractive for investors.”
Construction remains the second largest private sector employer in Saskatchewan, despite shedding 8.7 per cent of its workforce in 2016 — dropping almost tenfold over the combined provincial average for all industries.
“The role of construction is to facilitate and enable growth,” says Cooper. “It is important we recognize the significant economic and social contributions made by the sector. Today’s announcement will make it more difficult for the construction industry to build a more prosperous Saskatchewan for future generations.”
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SCA pre-budget commentary:
For more information, contact:
John Lax, Manager
Saskatchewan Construction Association