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CTF: Businesses, not taxpayers, should be paying for wage top-ups

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is questioning the government’s decision to provide wage top-ups for essential businesses’ employees.

“We’re thankful for the hard work and important services these Albertans are providing, but businesses should be paying the wage top-ups, not struggling taxpayers,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “Many of these businesses have been able to stay open throughout much of the pandemic and struggling Albertans shouldn’t be forced to pay higher taxes to cover this payout.”

The wage top-ups are expected to cost taxpayers $465 million including $118 million in funding from the Alberta government. Up to $170 million is eligible for private-sector employees.

Rather than increasing spending to provide support to select businesses, the CTF is calling for tax relief that supports all struggling businesses.

“It’s one thing to help struggling restaurants and gyms keep their lights on through government-imposed lockdowns, but this announcement is covering the costs of many businesses who have been able to stay open,” said Terrazzano. “The Alberta government was on the right track to help job creators by lowering the business tax rate and it should expand that help by cutting the small business tax.

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