'Relieved about what we didn't see': Small business group reacts to federal budget

Calling it a lukewarm budget, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is glad that its members won't be hit with a rumoured capital gains tax hike.

Rumoured rise in capital gains tax would have hurt members, says CFIB

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Minister of Finance Bill Morneau after he delivered the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday March 22, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business on P.E.I. is relieved with the new federal budget.

It wasn't so much about what was in it, but rather, what wasn't.

"There was a lot of speculation going into the budget about measures that would have been quite harmful for our members," said Erin McGrath-Gaudet of the CFIB in Charlottetown. "Around things like capital gains taxes, tightening up access to the small business tax credit, so at this point we're probably more relieved about what we didn't see."

As for what was in the budget, McGrath-Gaudet described it as neutral, or lukewarm.

She said the $8.2 billion being set aside for skills training is usually for formal training, not the on-the-job kind that small business generally requires.

Erin McGrath-Gaudet of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business was glad to see movement on free trade within Canada in the federal budget. (CBC)

McGrath-Gaudet was happy to see movement on free trade between provinces.

"The trade ministers have been working away at this piece for a couple of years, but it's to make it easier for businesses to trade within Canada," she said. "We've seen a lot of international trade agreements, but the internal trade side of things had really languished for a couple of years, so we were certainly excited to see that government was in a position to announce that today."

She said the increase in E.I. premiums employers will have to absorb will be a another challenge for small business.

From the Compass interview