By Kevin Woodhouse
Reducing the cost of service programs while stimulating the economy are two key components of the provincial government’s budget as a way to eliminate Quebec’s growing deficit. The budget, released last week, offers a series of measures to generate more revenues despite the global economy’s sluggish growth, noted Martin Coiteux, Nelligan MNA, Minister of Government Administration and Program Revision Treasury Board president.
“Small and medium enterprises are the heart of job creation in Quebec and by reducing their tax burden, we are making it easier for them to do business,” Coiteux told The Suburban.
Businesses will be encouraged to add to their work force with tax incentives as well. For long term growth, Coiteux cited the return of the Plan Nord as well as the Martime Strategy, projects designed to further safe development with long standing economic opportunities for all parties involved.
Coiteux also noted that the government is well aware of the tax burden on the average Quebecer and that a commission will soon be put in place to “study and improve the current taxation system, not by adding to the current burden but by making it more efficient designed to stimulate work and effort.”
The commission will study all aspects of taxation including taxable income, business taxes, subsidies and tax credits.
Another proposed commission will be to “review all government programs and reposition expenditures compatible with our fiscal revenues,” said Coiteux. “We have to have the courage to look at the current system and decide that some programs might disappear while others will be funded better channeled to the needs of a modern society.”
Demographics reflecting a rapidly aging population and economic growth not as robust as pre-recession indicators “will take important decisions, something that has never been done before in the province.”
The Nelligan MNA weighed in on the Train de l’ouest, stating that although the project is listed as being “under study” with the government, “it is still considered a priority of this government and as MNA, I will be addressing this issue with the minister of transport within the shortest delay.”