No relief for restaurants in Sask. budget: Restaurants Canada

Canadian Pizza
April 11, 2018
By Canadian Pizza
Regina – Though pleased there are no new tax increases planned for Saskatchewan, Restaurants Canada is not happy with the province's recently released budget, which it said offers no relief for the food-service industry.

The budget, released April 10, forecasts a $365-million deficit in 2018-19 and a return to a balanced budget with a forecast $6 million surplus in 2019-20.

Restaurants Canada is pleased there are no new tax increases in the new Saskachewan budget and that it includes a 1.4 per cent decrease in expenditures to help balance the books by 2020, the association said in a news release.

However, the Saskatchewan government has not done enough to offset the pain of last year’s anti-food-service budget, the association said. From liquor markup increases and a one per cent increase in the PST rate to six per cent, to the critical six per cent tax instituted on restaurant meals, the combined impact of the 2017 provincial budget had a devastating impact on Saskatchewan’s food-service industry.

As a result of these tax increases, Saskatchewan restaurant sales were down by a staggering 4.5 per cent, resulting in the loss of 1,700 industry jobs.

In order for Saskatchewan’s food-service industry to thrive once more, those taxes must be reduced or eliminated altogether, Restaurants Canada said.

“Restaurants Canada is disappointed that today’s budget provides no relief for the province’s struggling restaurant industry, which is one of Saskatchewan’s largest private sector job creators,” said Mark von Schellwitz, the association's vice-president for western Canada.

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