The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has collected more than 50,000 petitions from small business owners opposed to Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) premium hikes being debated at next week’s finance ministers’ meeting in Vancouver. A further 40,000 petitions have been collected in opposition to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP).
Earlier this week, CFIB sent the petitions, along with letters to finance ministers in every province, urging them to reject CPP/QPP expansion. In order to move forward, the payroll tax increase would require the support of at least two thirds of the provinces, representing at least two thirds of the population.
“The proposed CPP hike is a bad idea on almost every level,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly, who has met personally with the finance minister or premier in all ten provinces in recent months to lobby against CPP/QPP expansion. “Workers prefer other options. Business owners don’t want it. It doesn’t help seniors and it hurts young people and those with lower incomes. Who is this policy for?”
CFIB has been conducting a public awareness campaign on pension expansion at RetirementReality.ca. CFIB’s online petition, a part of the awareness campaign, has garnered nearly 18,000 signatures from Canadians.
Seventy-one per cent of small business owners oppose a mandatory premium hike, according to CFIB’s latest survey. Fewer than one-in-five Canadians chose CPP as the best vehicle for their savings.
If imposed, 34 per cent of employed Canadians say a mandatory CPP/QPP increase would reduce their ability to spend on essential goods and services. Two-thirds of business owners say it would increase pressure to freeze or cut salaries, and 35 per cent say it would force them to lay off employees.
“For average workers, the CPP/QPP issue boils down to one question: with 60 per cent of Canadians telling us that they can’t afford to save more, how will it help them to have governments take even more money out of their pockets today?” added Kelly.
“We encourage governments to pursue other options, such as creating better voluntary options (e.g. Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), voluntary CPP/QPP) or incentives to help Canadians save for their own retirement. Governments should also consider that the best way to help people save is to reduce government spending and taxes, allowing Canadians to contribute more of their own money towards their retirement.”
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region. – CNW