The province has introduced the budget implementation and tax statutes amendment act 2012 that proposes modest and fair measures to increase revenue, Finance Minister Stan Struthers announced today.
June 6, 2012 | “These amendments would allow government to continue investing in the programs and services that matter most to Manitoba families,” said Struthers. “During this period of economic uncertainty, we have chosen to take a balanced approach by protecting front-line services and finding creative ways to reduce spending and refocus those dollars to areas such as education, health care and infrastructure. In the face of challenges, Manitobans come together, and just as we have united together to rebuild after the unprecedented flood of 2011, we’ll meet these challenges and return to balance in 2014.”
The minister said Budget 2012 is helping young people find quality employment in their fields by increasing support for Co-op Education and the Apprenticeship Tax Credit. This will assist employers in hiring apprentices and newly certified journeypersons, he added. As well, a new supplementary credit will be added for employers who hire early level apprentices in northern and rural Manitoba.
Budget 2012 is also cutting red tape and streamlining services for businesses, by reducing how often small businesses have to file sales tax.
As well, business could soon benefit from changes under the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act, which would help level the playing field for businesses operating within the law. These changes would mean that government will no longer require a court injunction to issue stop-operating orders to those selling tobacco without a valid tax authorization. This will help stop the illegal sale of unmarked tobacco, Struthers said.
“Budget 2012 is sure-footed, and provides responsible and responsive measures to tackle today’s challenges,” said Struthers. “A key component to this plan is the Program Portfolio Management Review, in which all departments are participating as they look to find savings from within. MLAs are leading by example by having their salaries frozen for a further two years.”
The government also plans to increase revenue through Budget 2012 by with modest and fair steps, Struthers said. Steps include:
- broadening the base of the retail sales tax to personal services and some insurance products;
- increasing tax on tobacco products by 2.5 cents per cigarette in an effort to reduce tobacco use, promote the health of Manitobans and help fund health-care costs; and
- raising fuel taxes by 2.5 cents per litre for unmarked gasoline and diesel fuel and using that revenue to invest in renewing the province’s roads and bridges as guaranteed by the Gas Tax Accountability Act.
“Manitobans can count on our government to invest in their priorities while helping to keep our province an affordable place to live, work and raise a family,” said Struthers.