Conservative Oliver uses gifts not incentives.

Say what you like about Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver but he is certainly proving that he is not the brightest bulb to ever hold that portfolio in Ottawa. In fact, Oliver might just embarrass the Harper government right out of office next year. It was his opening salvo in goodies for next year’s election that showed Canadians that he has no idea of how to motivate business with taxation for job creation. He does not understand that there is a serious difference between a gift and an incentive.

And this is all about a matter of 28 cents. That is the amount that Oliver intends to cut from Employment Insurance premiums per $100 in insurable earnings for employees of small business. And this is only for in the fiscal years of 2015 and 2016. Oliver thinks it will save small business about $250 million per year for each of those years.

What would have made better sense would have been a much larger cut in premiums for all additional employees added over the next two years. That is job creation. That is how government should use business tax incentives. What Oliver is offering is just a present to people who want to take more money out of their business.

But what do you expect from a bunch of ideologues. They only offer gifts. Using an incentive to motivate their business friends to do something for the economy is a completely foreign idea. To them, business is good old Sam or Harry who runs a business and gives them money to support their re-election. This party wants to do something for their friends. They would never think of restricting these gratuitous gifts to those who did something for Canadians.

What is going to happen though is that the recipients of this gift from the Conservatives are going to do the mathematics themselves. With only about 40 per cent of employees eligible for Employment Insurance and this saving of $190 per eligible employee, it will mean a maximum of $2200 to any one business. If the Conservatives want to pay a bribe for this writer’s vote, they should be warned. It will cost much more than $2200,

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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