Finance Minister speaks at Chamber Business Leaders Luncheon in first address after B.C. Budget
Hon. Carole James addressed government’s plans to help workforce housing affordability
as well as concerns over unexpected payroll tax
VICTORIA, B.C. – In her first public address after Tuesday’s Budget Speech, B.C.’s Finance Minister spoke today at The Chamber’s Business Leaders Luncheon inside the Fairmont Empress ballroom.
The 2018 Provincial Budget shows that government is listening to business. In her budget speech, James noted the work done by B.C.’s Chambers of Commerce to urge the Province to improve access to affordable child care.
Minister James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, announced major investments that will make it easier for working families to find affordable child care. The budget also offered a multi-faceted plan to make housing more affordable as well as the two-cent fuel tax increase that local governments and The Chamber asked for to expand bus service in our region.
“The Chamber has been a vocal advocate for employers in Greater Victoria who are having a difficult time attracting and retaining workers due to our region’s high cost of living,” said Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “Having a better chance to purchase or rent a house in our region and turn it into a home will go a long way to making Greater Victoria more attractive to the types of workers we need.”
However, the 2018 Budget also includes an unwelcome surprise for business.
“In a budget that goes some distance to make working life more affordable, the unexpected tax on payrolls is a move in the wrong direction,” Holt said. “The plan to introduce a Health Tax creates a burden for many employers and hurts their ability to hire or promote staff and grow their business.”
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Greater Victoria, with more than 1,400 member organizations. Founded on Feb. 9, 1863, The Chamber is celebrating its 155th birthday in 2018. It works to strengthen the region’s business community through networking events, advocacy, professional development activities and many other member services.
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce