VANCOUVER (February 4, 2020) – As the NDP continue trying to convince people they’re making life more affordable, stories keep piling up of local restaurants, cafes and shops across the province struggling to pay the Employer Health Tax (EHT).
“All across British Columbia businesses are being impacted by the Employer Health Tax and the government continues to ignore the fact that small businesses are being forced to make decisions about raising prices, laying off employees or closing,” said BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic Shirley Bond. “It is time for this NDP government to admit they made a mistake with this heavy-handed tax and listen to entrepreneurs and business owners who have said they simply can’t get ahead because of unfair taxes like the EHT.”
“It’s no surprise the NDP are ignoring the countless British Columbians who have said the EHT is destroying everything they’ve worked for,” said Stephanie Cadieux, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic. “What makes it worse is that Carole James won’t acknowledge the actual facts showing how badly the EHT is impacting small businesses.”
The NDP talking points fail to show the whole story – here are the facts:
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade reported that the average EHT bill for small businesses (i.e. those employing 50 or fewer persons) is just over $40,000 a year. For a small business with minimum-wage employees, that is equivalent to almost a year’s salary for two employees.
A 2019 BC Chamber of Commerce Survey found that 79% of participants said the cost of doing business had worsened and 49% said their confidence in B.C.’s economy had declined in the last year. (link to survey here)
While the NDP claim that 85% of businesses don’t pay EHT, over half of that figure (61%) are self-employed people with no employees (such as doctors, lawyers, independent contractors, etc).
The facts clearly show the EHT keeps hurting thousands of small businesses across the province who just want to make ends meet.