Alward drops promise to cut small business tax in half

The Alward government has backed away from another of its election promises.

Premier says other policies will help small businesses instead of reducing rate to below 4.5 per cent

The Alward government has backed away from another of its election promises.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says the province will not cut the small business tax in half, something the Progressive Conservatives said they would do in the 2010 election campaign.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs concedes the Alward government has dropped plans to cut the province's small business tax in half. (CBC)
The Tories did reduce the small business tax by 0.5 in the 2011-12 budget, putting it at 4.5 per cent. They now say they will use policies including tax credits, power rate cuts and hiring grants to help small businesses.

Premier David Alward suggests that still amounts to keeping the promise to halve the small business tax.

"And we are working to complete each and every one of them as we go forward," said Alward in the legislature.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs was more candid outside the legislature — citing those other policies but acknowledging they had replaced the promised tax cut.

 "So while not going forward with that particular tax reduction, we feel we have gone beyond in other areas to support small business," said Higgs.

Liberal MLA Victor Boudreau mocked Alward in Question Period Wednesday for seeming to abandon the promise to cut the small business tax in half.

"Yesterday he stands up in this house and claims he's kept 80 per cent of his promises," said Boudreau. That's the kind of fuzzy math that's been happening over there."

The clock is ticking on the Alward government's time to fulfill its campaign promises from 2010. The fixed date for the next provincial election is Sept. 22, 2014.


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