The Quebec CPA Order welcomes a prudent return to a balanced budget but underscores the magnitude of the challenges involved

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Montréal, March 25, 2021 – The Quebec CPA Order welcomes the 2021–2022 budget and is pleased that the government has followed many of its recommendations. “Quebec needed to adopt the measures required to overcome this crisis. The government has shown judicious prudence in postponing the return to a balanced budget to 2027–2028 while continuing to invest in the Generations Fund, which is allocated to repayment of the debt. Stabilizing the debt burden provides the breathing room needed in the current context,” said Geneviève Mottard, CPA, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order.

However, in support of intergenerational equity, the Order encourages the government to review the Generations Fund’s management mechanisms when it amends the Balanced Budget Act, emphasizing risk management, the amounts held in the fund and the disbursement rules.

The Order points out that the government did not follow its recommendations for improving transparency and predictability. “We reiterate the importance of strengthening good governance in public finance with concrete measures like the creation of a parliamentary budget officer position and the preparation of long-term economic and fiscal projections. This will stimulate an informed public debate on the budget choices that will arise in the coming years and have a significant impact on future generations,” added Ms. Mottard.

Recovery through innovation and access to technology

The Order is delighted that the government is investing in increasing business productivity to encourage innovation and help counter the labour shortage. “We welcome the targeted measures to accelerate businesses’ technological transition efforts and broaden access to high-speed Internet, the reduction of the tax burden for SMBs, and the additional investments of $193 million over two years to support the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic,” continued Ms. Mottard.

The Order also highlights the investment of $85 million over five years to implement more digital solutions in higher education institutions, to promote equal opportunities.

Budget items worth noting

  • Tax fairness

The government is continuing to implement the Tax Fairness Action Plan and allocating $50 million over five years to help Revenu Québec increase its audit initiatives in sectors deemed at high risk for tax evasion and avoidance, which is good news.

  • Government accounting standards

The Minister of Finance recently announced a change in the application of the accounting standard respecting transfer payments, in response to a recommendation by the Auditor General. This will enhance transparency in public finances and facilitate comparisons with other Canadian jurisdictions.

Returning to a balanced budget: a bumpy road ahead

“For us, two fundamental questions remain. How will Quebec balance the budget? And how will public services be funded in the medium term? This budget doesn’t give us the answers. One thing is certain, CPAs will be key participants in any important social debates that arise,” concluded Ms. Mottard.

About the Quebec CPA Order
The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 40,000 members and 5,000 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 financial reporting, management accounting, strategy and governance, audit and assurance, finance and taxation.

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Fanie St-Pierre
Advisor, Public Relations and Societal Communications
Ordre des CPA du Québec
T. 514 288-3256 [2763] 1 800 363-4688

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