Retail Council of Canada’s Reaction to 2007-2008 Federal Budget

TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) welcomed the prudent budget outlined by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday. RCC recognizes that the October Economic Statement included timely stimulus that will help the Canadian economy weather the uncertainties of the economic outlook. Given the generous tax relief given to Canadians last fall, the

targeted tax relief outlined in this measured budget is welcomed.

“On behalf of Canada’s retailers, Retail Council of Canada welcomes the announcements made by Minister Flaherty yesterday,” says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “RCC was extremely pleased with the focus the government placed on labour shortage by allocating funds to modernize the immigration system and to stimulate the retention of mature workers in the economy.”

The Federal Government announced that it would inject an additional $90 million to extend to 2012 the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers to help older workers stay in the workforce and that it would remove disincentives to work for seniors by raising the current Guaranteed Income Supplement earned income exemption to $3,500 from its current maximum exemption level of $500.

In addition, the government announced that it would modernize the immigration system with a $22-million investment over two years, growing to $37 million per year, including legislation to speed up the processing of permanent resident applications, ensuring shorter wait times and making Canada’s immigration system more competitive.

“Overall, the targeted measures announced by the Federal government yesterday will be a good complement to the measures announced last October in the Fall Economic Update,” Brisebois added.

RCC also noted that the Minister had failed to move on the elimination of import tariffs on goods not produced in Canada. RCC will continue to impress upon the government the importance of reducing the cost of consumer goods

entering Canada.