New Brunswick’s small businesses were the focus of the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals on Wednesday as each party unveiled new policies aimed at winning their support.
Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward stopped at Goji’s Frozen Yogurt in Moncton where he announced that he would ensure small businesses would be able to affordably access the province’s new drug plan.
He also said small businesses shouldn’t have to go to court to get paid for taxpayer-funded work that they are doing for larger companies.
Alward said these measures would help small businesses hire more people.
“Small businesses in New Brunswick are at the heart of our plan for creating jobs because they are the lifeblood of our communities,” Alward said in a statement.
The Liberals, meanwhile, had a different array of policy ideas as Liberal Leader Brian Gallant tried to win votes from small businesses while campaigning in Saint John.
Gallant said he would drop the small business tax rate to 2.5 per cent, which would be the lowest rate east of Manitoba. The small business tax rate is now 4.5 per cent.
He also committed to working with small businesses to reduce red tape and to freeze fees paid by businesses for four years.
The Liberal leader said he would also protect small businesses from “losses to the black market through better policing of contraband tobacco and alcohol.”
“We want to help [small businesses] improve their businesses and create more jobs in their communities. This is part of our broader plan to diversify and strengthen our economy, instead of fixating on reckless cuts and fracking like the Alward government has done,” Gallant said in a statement.
Earlier in the campaign, Gallant said he would raise taxes on the wealthiest one per cent of New Brunswickers and he would reverse a $34-million property tax cut to businesses, brought in by the Progressive Conservative government two years ago.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said earlier in the campaign that he would eliminate the small business tax in the first six months of forming government.