Quebec promises not to raise taxes on businesses and individuals to bridge the gap of “12 to $ 15 billion” caused by the impacts of the pandemic. The government also has no intention of backing off on the down promised of the school taxes.
On Friday, the minister of Finance, Eric Girard, participated in a videoconference organized by the Chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal (BTMM). During the event, he discussed the impact of the COVID-19 on the financial health of the government.
“All the governments to stimulate the economy and provide emergency assistance. They have to borrow much larger sums than expected. With the public health crisis and the recession will come to an extremely difficult period,” conceded the minister.
During the eight weeks of confinement, it is approximately 40 % of the quebec economy, which has been put on pause. Quebec anticipates a fall in GDP of between “4 and 6 percent”. Last march, within its budget, the government expected a growth of 2 %.
Despite the deficit, the minister of Finance ensures that the invoice will not be shifted to taxpayers in their next report income tax. The government has also no plans to increase the Quebec sales tax (QST).
Mr. Girard estimates that the return to a balanced budget will require “effort” and should take “3 to 5 years”. It will pass by a growth of income over expenses”.
“There will be no tax increases in Quebec. This is not our philosophy. There will be a decrease in school taxes as planned. And we have no intention to increase the provincial sales tax,” says Mr. Girard.
The latter says he is ready to financially support the industries that will suffer for longer, such as retail, tourism, aviation and hospitality.
Cirque du Soleil
In addition, during the conference, the minister of Finance has praised the agreement to save the Cirque du Soleil. This week, the government announced a loan of 200 million US $ (276 million CAD).
“It is important to have large companies, prime contractors and leaders in the world. It is for this reason that there has been of assistance to Bombardier. It is for this reason that today there is help for the Cirque du Soleil. We need more companies with a head office in the province”, he stressed.
The finance minister has also assured on Friday that his troops were going to support the people of the cultural sector.