Morneau to deliver federal budget on Feb. 27
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has started the countdown to the federal government’s delivery of the next budget by setting the date for Feb. 27.
BNN guests weighed in on what they think the finance minister should focus on in the upcoming budget after his controversial year involving changes to small business tax and running a deficit. The budget also comes at a time when Canada faces uncertainty over trade and its economic competitiveness.
“I think about the best you can hope for is after the disaster of last July’s announcement, that they won’t go anywhere near tax reform – they won’t touch business taxes.”
-Philip Cross, senior fellow, MacDonald-Laurier Institute
“I would like to see them stop the increase in taxation. I’m a great fan of paying taxes. That sounds odd, but I know there are services and somebody’s got to pay for them. …But when you get over 50 per cent, unintended consequences happen. ...I'd like to see a reduction, but if there's any further enhancement in some of those tax rates, I think it'd be a disaster. ”
-Ed Sonshine, CEO, RioCan REIT
“I think the most important thing that we’re looking for is essentially a bit of a stay-the-course. As you know, we’re going through a period of time where there’s a bit of turbulence in the global economy, certainly as it relates to trade. … It’s an environment that lends itself to, potentially, some additional spending. And that’s something that we would look to guard against in a lot of respects.”
- Jean-Francois Perrault, chief economist, Scotiabank
“I’m nervous because we went down [to Ottawa] a week ago Monday, not just to complain about what we anticipate will not be good news for small business people in the passive income proposal. But we went down with a solution… an alternative to how you could do a tax plan that would benefit the country, still raise some revenue, but tie the passive income proposals to actually lay off the people who are creating jobs, and give small businesses a window where they could actually save for a rainy day or some of the things that we’re afraid are going to go away. I’m afraid that they haven’t had enough time to integrate that into the proposal that we’re going to see in two weeks.”
-Bruce Croxon, co-founder, Round 13 Capital
“We are always looking at relative economic momentum and Canada seems to be losing steam, while the U.S. is picking up steam. With that tax decrease in the States, I think the U.S. momentum is going to be even stronger. So I think focusing on the soft issues … isn’t necessarily what I think is necessary to change that delta from being against Canada.”
-Lyle Stein, senior portfolio manager and managing director, Vestcap Investment Management
“I’d like to see some further clarity around their infrastructure program. I’d like to see some further clarity around their deficit spending. If the economy is doing as darn well like [Morneau] said it is, then why are they running a deficit? Also, around taxation, it’s been a complete gong show from the tax policies and small business. We’ve seen the most pervasive tax change in 50 years jammed into a couple of months starting at summer time. We see it with a lot of clients trying to figure out what to do ahead of tax time.”
- Martin Pelletier, portfolio manager, TriVest Wealth Counsel