Lanny McInnesRCC Budget Perspective:

Manitoba’s 2013 Provincial Budget delivered the worst possible news for Manitoba retailers and their customers with the announcement that Manitoba’s Retail Sales Tax will be increasing from 7 to 8 percent on July 1, 2013.  Manitoba law requires the provincial government to hold a referendum in order to raise the PST.  Today Premier Greg Selinger announced that his government is scrapping that law and moving forward with the sales tax increase.

RCC wrote the Premier and Minister of Finance in advance of the 2013 provincial budget to voice our opposition to any increase in Manitoba’s PST.

The government claims that the tax increase will only be in place for the next 10 years in order to fund Manitoba’s new Building and Renewal Plan.  The plan will see the additional revenue from the increase go towards paying for infrastructure projects. Little detail on this plan was provided. Despite raising the PST, the province is still projecting a deficit of over $500 million and the provincial debt is projected to grow by $1.6 billion in 2013-14 alone.

Please click here to view the 2013 Manitoba budget papers.

Budget Highlights included:

  • The PST will increase 1% on July 1, 2013.  The government will scrap legislation requiring the increase to go to Manitobans for approval through a referendum.
  • Baby supplies, child safety restraints, strollers, cribs, baby monitors, baby gates, items used for nursing, bicycle helmets, and other items for infants will be made PST exempt.  RCC will post a full list for members once Manitoba Finance makes it available.
  • The tobacco tax will increase by 4 cents to 29 cents a cigarette, effective midnight April 16, 2013.
  • The province’s minimum wage will increase by 20 cents to $10.45 on October 1, 2013.

NEXT STEPS:

RCC will continue voicing our opposition to the PST increase, the issues the July 1st implementation date will cause, and the costs for retailers and their customers associated with this tax change.

Finance Minister Stan Struthers has introduced Bill 20 – The Manitoba Building and Renewal Funding and Fiscal Management Act.  This Act scraps the referendum requirement and will allow the Manitoba Government to increase the PST without putting it to Manitobans through a referendum.  The government has also extended the balanced budget deadline to 2016.  This marks the third time the Selinger government has changed Manitoba’s finance law to make their budgets legal.

RCC has already registered to speak at the Legislative Committee hearing on Bill 20 to voice our opposition to the legislation.

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