Quebec budget 2016-2017 – A budget that marks the return to sound public finances

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Quebec City, March 17, 2016 – The Quebec CPA Order welcomes Quebec’s 2016-2017 budget tabled today by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão. “This budget marks the return to sound public finances, which will foster favourable conditions for sustained and sustainable economic growth,” said Geneviève Mottard, CPA, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec CPA Order, from the budget media lock-up.

Among the positive elements, the Order underscored the prospect of balanced budgets until 2020-2021, thanks to more modest public spending increases that can be sustained over the long term. The Order is also pleased that the debt-to-GDP ratio is on a downward track to reach a maximum of 45% in 2026. “Achieving this objective would be a very important expression of intergenerational equity and would significantly reduce pressure on public finances,” added Ms. Mottard.

The Order also commends the measures to reduce the tax burden on businesses and individuals, such as accelerating the plan to abolish the health contribution, enhancing the tax shield and introducing new measures to support investment, the transition to a digital economy and job creation.

A missed opportunity

However, the Order is disappointed that its proposals on better governance and greater transparency in public finances were not retained. The Quebec CPA Order put forward seven proposals during the pre-budget consultations, all of which were guided by the same principles of sound governance, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency. 

The proposals included the gradual adoption of a structurally balanced and sustainable budget, a clear and coherent roadmap to implement the recommendations of the Godbout report, particularly as concerns rebalancing income taxes and commodity taxes, and implementing a systematic mechanism to assess the effectiveness of corporate and personal tax measures.

The Order also proposed that a true streamlining exercise be developed by introducing a single tax return for individuals and businesses, for example, as is already the case in virtually all the provinces, and by fully harmonizing sales taxes (GST and QST) by implementing a harmonized sales tax. These two measures alone would generate estimated savings of over $500 million per year.

“Making a budget means making choices,” said Ms. Mottard. “While the proposals put forward by the CPA Order were unfortunately not considered in this budget, they are nonetheless necessary and entirely relevant. The Order will continue to champion these proposals in its representations before the Minister of Finance and the various economic players,” she concluded.

About the Quebec CPA Order

The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 38,000 members and 5,600 future CPAs, making it the third largest professional order in Quebec. The Order ensures the protection of the public and the visibility of the profession. It represents all areas of expertise of the accounting profession, including assurance, financial accounting, management and management accounting, finance and taxation.

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Information :

Jean-Louis Laplante
Manager, Public Affairs
Quebec CPA Order
T : 514 288-3256 [3024]  1 800 363-4688

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