Montréal, December 2, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is satisfied with the announcements made today as part of Quebec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão’s economic and financial update. “These announcements demonstrate the effective management of public finances and tight spending controls and eliminate much of the uncertainty surrounding the fiscal framework and the city’s business environment,” said President and CEO of the Board of Trade, Michel Leblanc.
“We support the Government of Quebec’s firm intention to balance the budget as planned in 2015-2016,” Michel Leblanc said. “This is essential to respect our regulatory framework, maintain the confidence of investors and financial institutions, and, in turn, protect our credit rating. Consolidating public finances will also enable us to accumulate a surplus to strengthen businesses and give us the additional leeway we need in the event of an economic downturn.”
“The government seems to have stayed in control of program spending growth,” Michel Leblanc said. “The fact that 85% of budget cuts have already been made or announced eliminates a great deal of the uncertainty that existed in the business environment in Quebec and Montréal. Local businesses will have a better grasp of the fiscal framework and be able to make more informed decisions and invest.”
“The Board of Trade argued that reducing the deficit should not increase the tax burden for individuals and companies,” Michel Leblanc added. “So increased taxes for financial institutions and insurance companies is cause for concern. We have to ensure that these measures do not lead to a higher cost of borrowing and financing for companies. And as far as including oil and gas distributors in the carbon market goes, we will have to keep a close eye on this measure’s effects on the competitiveness of companies and make adjustments as required.”
“We understand that this exercise in spending cuts requires an effort from all economic players,” Mr. Leblanc said. “But against a backdrop of weak economic growth, we need to keep supporting wealth creation. This is why we welcome new initiatives to stimulate innovation and productivity, such as the Créativité Québec program. We encourage the government to introduce more structural reforms for longer term support to our economy. And we call on the government to review the fiscal mix to better support investment, effort and productivity.”
“This update shows that the government heard the Montréal business community’s arguments: no new cuts to tax credits affecting multimedia and video games,” Michel Leblanc said. “Plus, the temporary increase in eligible expenses for the refundable tax credit for Quebec film and television production is good news.”
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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