Federal Budget Offers Few Surprises for B.C.

Minister Flaherty predicted a deficit of 2.9 billion for 2014-2015, and 6.4 billion surplus for the year thereafter

The 2014 budget lays out the federal commitment to cut the deficit by 2015, but offers few perks for B.C.

Don’t expect any significant changes. The 2014 federal budget contained few surprises, with minor reductions in small business taxes, a double down on the federal government’s federal job-training transfer to the provinces and increased funding for market-oriented research.
Minister Jim Flaherty reiterated the government’s goal to end deficits and balance the federal books by next year. This year’s budget offered no significant changes, said Anthony Ariganello, president of CGA Canada, attributing the government’s stay-the-course budget to the shadow of next year’s, which will be tabled a few months in advance of an expected Fall 2015 election,
The Vancouver Board of Trade offered a similar assessment, lauding the government for measures to simplify the tax system for small business, changes to public sector retirement benefits and a $1.6 billion and a ten-year commitment to fund granting councils, such as Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
While the Board of Trade gave the budget a B+ overall, CEO Iain Black added that his association would have liked to see more details with respect to, “how B.C.’s needs as an exporting economy will be met.”
The budget offered few B.C.-specific perks, though the province’s natural parks will get some of the $391.5-million the government is setting aside for infrastructure improvements-mostly bridge and highway upgrades- for Parks Canada. The government’s pipelines watchdog, the National Energy Board, will also receive $28 million.
As for small business, the budget largely kept course with programs set out in years prior, with as increases in the small business income limit and an increase on the limits of the lifetime capital gains extension for small business and a slight reduction in small business tax rates.
This year budget contained hints of future tax policy, said Carole Presseault, VP government and regulatory affairs at CGA. The government will continue with targeted tax measures, as opposed to broader cuts, she said.