LETTER: Coffee talk and government changes to business

Seeking a reduction in burdens to small business in this Ponoka News letter to the editor.

Dear Editor,

The morning coffee meeting is a great get together where we solve all the world’s problems.

Lately it has been the changes the government is proposing for small business and farmers. Some politicians aren’t in agreement with these changes. They are concerned, but they aren’t specific in their helpful ideas.

The financial burden on our small business has to be addressed and lessened.

Our country is noted for our universal health care system. Many attempts have been made for a two-tier system, but they have been defeated, as it would be dividing the concept of universality. Well, there is a two-tier system. It is the employer’s contribution for things like CPP, UIC, WCB, medical and private pensions. Why not a universal system?

Our benefits were put in place when small business were the majority employer and government employees were paid less for their dedication. It was a perk for these government employees to have the matching employer dollars for CPP and UIC.

WCB, medical and private pension plans come from general revenues, the taxpayer. The employer still has to depend on business revenue. We have just seen Sobeys lay-off 450 employees. Why? Because the minimum wage will increase. Another burden on business. The minimum wage should increase, so lets adopt a universal matching contribution system for all those employed and get rid of this two tier system. Between 65 per cent to 70 per cent of all those employed in this country are paid by the government, in some form or another, and have their matching contributions for benefits paid for by the government. It would simply mean a two per cent reduction across the board to make the system universal.

That is one way we can reduce the burden on small business and now I would like to present another.

There is a lot of online shopping, and when goods are imported a GST charge is usually applied. A look at the paperwork attached to the parcel will show a hefty processing charge. The government is charging you to collect its GST, while every small business has to collect that tax for free. It takes time and money to collect that tax and maybe the government should start paying for that service.

There are many other ways the burden on business can be eased and I don’t think many of our politicians have experience running a business. So as Christmas shopping approaches, be nice to the check out person, gas station attendant, sales clerk and don’t get jealous if they receive a discount perk from their employer (which the government wants to tax). It is a thank you for their low pay and dedication.

Just saying until the next coffee meeting.

Dennis Chernick

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