B.C. Finance Minister Carole James presents her 2020 budget at the Victoria Conference Centre, Feb. 18, 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James presents her 2020 budget at the Victoria Conference Centre, Feb. 18, 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. budget fails to ‘excite’ Kelowna business community

Chamber says Budget 2020 lacks a clearly defined competitiveness strategy

While the recently unveiled 2020 provincial budget may get a passing grade for being balanced and protecting B.C.’s AAA credit rating, it did not excite the business community.

That’s according to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, which claimed the budget’s increase in spending is coming at the expense of businesses facing ever-increasing taxes.

“We were hoping to see relief on the taxes that are holding small businesses back, like adjusting the threshold with the Employers Health Tax, or a prudent approach for big business that will help them compete globally,” said chamber president Nikki Csek.

“Our biggest producers and commodity exporters are paying one of the highest carbon taxes in the world— this isn’t an environment that encourages investment.”

The chamber described the budget as a missed opportunity, saying it failed to outline a broad vision on how the government plans to ensure B.C. remains a competitive jurisdiction that welcomes entrepreneurs.

“It will take a few days to get through all the information. And, we feel the government is walking a fine line in a good economy with not preparing for a rainy day as the debt to GDP ratio continues to rise.”

READ MORE: ‘The NDP of the ’90s is back’: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA voices concerns over 2020 budget

READ MORE: Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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