• Nova Scotia Pre Budget Submission

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    The Honourable Allan MacMaster
    Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance
    Department of Finance, Nova Scotia
     
    {Via email}
     
    January 26, 2024
     
    Re: Atlantic Chamber of Commerce Pre-Budget Submission to the Province of Nova Scotia
     
    Dear Minister MacMaster

    The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, representing 25 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 4,800 businesses across Nova Scotia submits the following items for your consideration in the 2024-2025 Budget:

    Housing and Labour
    Housing affordability is a significant concern in Nova Scotia. One of the driving factors behind the supply of housing not keeping up with the demand is the lack of available labour to build new homes. In 2021, Nova Scotia introduced the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program, a tax rebate for trades workers under the age of 30 on the first $50,000 of income. The criteria of this program should be expanded to include eligible individuals under the age of 40 to increase the availability of labor to build new homes. The prioritization of reducing regulatory burden is also important in the housing sector to allow the private sector to invest in Nova Scotia with certainty that their developments will not face unnecessary barriers, burden, and delays.

    Increasing the Basic Personal Amount
    Nova Scotia has consistently maintained its status as one of the regions burdened with some of the highest income taxes in all of North America. With Canada grappling with a concurrent cost of living and cost of doing business crisis, it becomes increasingly imperative for the province to adopt strategic measures aimed at alleviating the financial strain on its residents. The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is recommending for Nova Scotia to proactively address this issue by elevating the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) and other income tax credits to a $15,000, a move that will provide much-needed relief to taxpayers.
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    Fiscal Responsibility for Business Confidence 
    Nova Scotia has a history of showing fiscal restraint and presenting balanced budgets. Presently, the projected deficit is $264M this year and with pandemic spending programs no longer active, the province should return to the fiscal restraint of prior years. This will allow Nova Scotia to strategically allocate resources for essential services and future investments, promoting sustained growth and prosperity without leaving debt for future generations to pay.

    As Nova Scotia continues to grow, it must remain affordable with the capacity to continue positive economic momentum. The budget is an opportunity for Government to indicate the importance of the private sector and make critical investments and policy decisions to decrease the cost of living and doing business. The Atlantic Chamber remains a willing partner for Government as Nova Scotia moves forward.
     
     
    Sincerely,
    Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
     
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  • Business Truth & Reconciliation Business Truth & Reconciliation

    The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce is taking proactive steps to promote reconciliation and respect for Indigenous rights within the corporate sector. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 92, the Chamber urges its members to embrace the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a guiding framework. This entails a commitment to meaningful consultation, fostering respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before embarking on economic projects. Moreover, the Chamber advocates for equitable access to employment, training, and educational opportunities for Indigenous communities, ensuring they reap sustainable benefits from economic development initiatives.

     

    Recognizing the importance of education, the Chamber encourages businesses to provide comprehensive training for management and staff on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the legacy of residential schools, Indigenous rights, and Aboriginal-Crown relations. Emphasizing intercultural competency, conflict resolution, and anti-racism, these efforts aim to foster a more inclusive and harmonious corporate environment rooted in mutual understanding and respect.

    Learn more click here