Calgary

Bill Morneau defends Liberal's unchanged corporate tax rate

As the business community lobs accusations at the federal government for reneging on a corporate tax cut promise, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he's "improving the situation of every customer" of theirs.

Broken campaign promise will cost small firms $900M per year by 2019, says CFIB

Finance Minister Bill Morneau's first federal budget projects a deficit of $29.4 billion for this year. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

As small businesses lob accusations at the federal government for failing to deliver on a corporate tax cut, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the Liberals' budget is helping business by helping customers.

With their 2016 budget, the Liberals reneged on a campaign promise to cut the corporate tax rate to nine per cent by 2019, choosing instead to fix the rate at 10.5 per cent.

In a statement, a "deeply troubled" Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimated that this broken promise would cost small firms more than $900 million per year by 2019.

But Morneau defended the government's choices, saying that Liberals' middle-income tax cut, EI reforms and modified child benefit are "improving the situation of every customer of small- and medium-sized businesses in this country."

Morneau said he spoke with the president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, Diane Brisebois, on Wednesday morning.

"She told me that her members are delighted. The retailers understand that having more money in the pockets of the middle class means they have more customers to buy their goods and services."

"I know what businesses want most," said Morneau. "They want a strong and growing economy.

"We know that if we can improve the lives of people who have been struggling, that's actually going to improve the economy."


With files from The Homestretch

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