RCC Budget Perspective:

Following the political fallout from last year’s decision to raise Manitoba’s PST from 7 to 8 percent, Manitoba’s new Finance Minister Jennifer Howard presented a budget with few surprises and that did not raise personal or business taxes.  The government is also attempting to rein in government spending by capping this year’s spending increase at 2 percent.  The 2014 Manitoba budget still projects a $357 million deficit and the provincial debt is projected to grow to $18.6 billion by 2015.  The government is projecting, however, that it will achieve a surplus of $39 million by 2016.

The 2014 Manitoba budget papers can be viewed here.

Budget Highlights included:

• No increase or expansion to sales, business or income taxes.  No increase to the tobacco tax;

• $5.5 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 5 years:

• new legislation to protect consumers when they contract home repairs and buy or sell a home, and new rules to protect families from misleading cable, Internet and cellphone promotions;     and

• the province’s minimum wage will be increased in 2014, but no details on when or by how much were provided.

Next Steps:

RCC has met with the Minister of Labour regarding Manitoba’s minimum wage and we have provided her with RCC’s advice on how future increases should be determined.  We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide members with an update as soon as details regarding the 2014 increase become available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Lanny McInnes at  [email protected] or (204) 253-1654