75% agree balancing budget should be top priority; 80% say focus on spending cuts
CALGARY, February 10, 2015 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today released initial results from a survey of business owners about provincial budget issues that shows the vast majority of independent business owners believe balancing the books should be the top priority for the Alberta government in the upcoming budget. The survey results also show entrepreneurs overwhelmingly believe the challenge should be met by focusing on controlling spending, not hiking taxes.
Small business owners were asked the following question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Balancing the budget should be a top priority for the Alberta government? Seventy-five per cent agreed, 17 per cent disagreed, and 8 per cent didn’t know or were unsure.
“Business owners know full well how important it is not to operate in the red. A string of deficits in the private sector almost certainly means the demise of that business. In the eyes of Alberta’s entrepreneurs, ensuring a balanced annual budget should clearly be top priority for their government,” stated Richard Truscott, Vice President, Alberta and BC, for CFIB.
Entrepreneurs were also asked for their views on how to balance the books through the question: Provincial government revenues are at risk given the volatility of oil prices. Which of the following should the government focus on to ensure the budget is balanced? In response, 80 per cent picked “cut spending”, 46 per cent mentioned “defer/delay capital and infrastructure projects”, and 28 percent of respondents identified “other”. Only 11 per cent said “raise taxes”, while another 11 per cent mentioned “increase borrowing”.
“The message from the small business community to Premier Prentice and his cabinet is loud and clear. They want the budget balanced through a single focus on cutting, controlling, and deferring existing spending, rather than draining more tax money out of everyone’s pockets, wallets and purses,” concluded Truscott.
Based on previous survey research, CFIB launched a “no new taxes!” campaign in January to fight against the introduction of tax hikes in the provincial budget in March. The CFIB will be releasing more survey results in the days and weeks ahead, and has requested a meeting with the Finance Minister to discuss the findings.
The CFIB pre-budget survey was conducted online from January 26th to February 5th, 2015. We received 880 responses.
As Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.