Majority of Ontario small employers want CPP hike scrapped, delayed: survey

The majority of small business owners in Ontario want the government to scrap or delay the Canada Pension Plan enhancements, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Its survey, which polled 2,065 business owners in the province, found 52 per cent would like to see the government delay the enhancements until a review is completed to determine other options. About a third (32 per cent) said they’d like to see the province withdraw its support for the expansion completely.

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“Small business owners are calling on Premier Ford and Finance Minister Fedeli to press pause on the previous government’s decision to raise payroll taxes on small employers,” said Dan Kelly, president of the CFIB, in a news release.

The federation believes there are alternatives to the CPP enhancements, which would boost the contribution rate for both employers and employees to 5.95 per cent from 4.95 per cent over a phased-in period of five years from Jan. 1, 2019. According to the CFIB, alternatives include pooled registered pension plans.

A previous study conducted by the University of Toronto’s policy and economic analysis program for the CFIB found that the incoming enhancements will initially translate into 64,000 fewer jobs, which is 4.5 times more than the federal government has projected, noted the release.

Read: CPP reform to result in fewer jobs until late 2020s: report

“Many Ontario small businesses are struggling with the legacy of high costs imposed by past decisions,” said Plamen Petkov, vice-president for Ontario at the CFIB. “Massive hikes in the costs of energy, the minimum wage and new labour rules will have negative effects for many years and small firms simply cannot afford to pay even higher payroll taxes.”