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by Daniel Gloade on March 3, 2014

I found an interesting article in The Record.  You can find it here:

In essence, a lobby group asked small business owners whether he or she felt that the provincial government understood his or her needs.  Needless to say, no provincial government received a favourable score.  The majority of small business owners complained of high taxes.  In Ontario, “red button taxes” were the Liberal government’s increase in the minimum wage, the proposed Ontario pension plan and increased taxes to finance transit services.  Also, hydro costs are perceived to be too high.

What I find interesting about this article is that the proposed spending benefits small business owners, either directly or indirectly.  In essence, the government is forcing small business to make investments for the future.

A minimum wage increase encourages increased spending for low-income earners, those whom are most likely to buy goods and services from small business.

Transit may increase access to small businesses.  While large companies either mail goods and services or have big box stores, small businesses are located across the city where parking is not available or expensive.  An effective transit system may make businesses more easily accessible.  Also, many workers in small businesses have small incomes.  Better transit may make working for a small business a more viable option.  Employers will have a larger pool of potential employees from which to choose.

It can be argued that even an Ontario Pension plan can improve small business because it can increase consumer confidence in spending.  Also people whom effectively plan his or her retirement are less likely to require some form of social assistance in the future.

Although one can question whether these investments are prudent, at least small business owners benefit from the spending.  A more fertile ground of complaint is spending unrelated to economic matters.

When addressing Provincial Taxes, one should look at health care.  It is not because health care is particularly wasteful.  Healthcare is, by far, the largest expense of the provincial government. Finding even small efficiencies can have disproportionate savings given the large share of spending.

I don’t believe there are easy answers to reducing healthcare costs.  There is some room for improvement, however.  To that end, I found a very good article in the Toronto Star.  It is located here:

Perhaps lighting a candle is better than cursing the darkness.


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