GUELPH, Ontario – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner’s plan to immediately lower payroll taxes for small businesses to offset the recent increase in the minimum wage is getting positive response from local business and labour leaders.
“It was extremely cynical for the Liberals to pit local business owners against employees by imposing a 21 per cent increase in labour costs overnight without giving small businesses some help to deal with the change,” said Schreiner.
“I support paying workers a living wage, and I want to make sure local businesses get the help they need to maintain and create more, better-paying jobs,” added Schreiner. “More money for lower wage workers and lower labour taxes for small businesses will inject more money into the local economy benefiting businesses, workers and communities.”
Schreiner has discussed his plan with local business owners and labour leaders–receiving support from both for the GPO’s balanced plan that supports workers and local businesses owners.
“We pay our staff a living wage, and lowering payroll taxes would help us, and other small and medium businesses grow and create more living wage jobs,” said Helmi Ansari, CEO of GROSCHE International. “Paying our team a living wage supports the local economy and helps make our business stronger.”
“We need leadership that can bring workers and local businesses together to support living wages and fair taxes for the businesses our neighbours run,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, president of the Guelph and District Labour Council. “We need a fair deal for workers and local businesses.”
The Green Party’s balanced plan would more than double the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax to the first one million dollars of payroll. This would provide immediate cash flow benefits for local businesses, lower labour costs and provide incentives to create more jobs.
“It’s time we stopped being asked to choose between big business with the Liberals and PC’s and no business with the NDP,” said Schreiner. “Greens will continue to fight for fair taxes for local businesses and living wages for workers.”
The GPO has launched a petition to lower payroll taxes for local businesses: