Comments by P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan on CBC Radio Thursday morning amounted to a personal attack, says the P.E.I. representative of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.


Wes Sheridan wondered on CBC Radio's Island Morning where CFIB's Erin McGrath-Gaudet was last year when the HST was announced. (CBC)

Sheridan was taking issue with CFIB's complaint about an increase in the small business tax rate revealed in Wednesday's budget. He noted Erin McGrath-Gaudet of the CFIB was nowhere to be seen when the province unveiled the business-friendly HST last year.

McGrath-Gaudet told CBC News that's because she was on maternity leave, and Sheridan should know that.

"I came in from mat leave last summer to meet with him personally on this, on behalf of CFIB, and attended some of the information sessions on behalf of CFIB even though I was on mat leave," she said.

"As far as I'm concerned it was a bit of a low blow. If he feels like making personal attacks, then I suppose I'm certainly not in the position to stop him from doing it."

McGrath-Gaudet said her organization sent a number of representatives to last year's budget announcement in her place. She added the group's message about the HST hasn't changed since then. They believe it will help some businesses, but not all.

The increase in the small business tax will result in a net loss for businesses that don't benefit from the HST, she said.