11 JANUARY 2016
Fredericton – On Monday, January 11, 2016, the government will commence its final public consultation as part of its strategic program review. David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick wants government to ensure everyone pays their fair share as recommended by New Brunswickers in the first round of consultations.
In March 2015, the government released its What Was Said document, summarizing the top suggestions made by the public for cutting the deficit. The government chose to ignore those suggestions designed to ensure corporations do their part to help cut the deficit.
“Corporate New Brunswick holds billions of dollars in this province while our government runs a structural deficit,” said Coon. “Increasing royalties, and cutting corporate hand-outs and subsidies were dropped from the Choices Report, while it contemplates cuts to education and health care.”
Asking big business to pay their fair share could yield hundreds of millions annually in savings and revenue.
- Increasing royalty rates on natural resources in New Brunswick
- Our potash royalty regime substantially undervalues this resource compared to other producers. The royalty rate in New Brunswick is only 6.25% compared to nearly 11% in Saskatchewan.
- Eliminating or reducing direct corporate subsidies:
- Opportunities New Brunswick gave out over $93,000,000 to industry this year
- Regional Development Corporation gave out over $61,500,000 to industry this year
- Provincial Holdings Ltd gave out over 14,000,000 to industry in 2011/2012
- Eliminating or reducing indirect corporate subsidies
- Silviculture: According to the 2015 Silviculture report of the Auditor General, the province of New Brunswick is subsidizing a number of forestry companies. Between 2009 and 2013, the province lost $53,000,000 to companies contracted to manage public forests.
“This Government is asking the people of New Brunswick to help balance our budget. At the same time we desperately need new investment in mental health care, early childhood education, affordable housing and social assistance,” said Coon. “The corporate sector must pay its fair share.”