Because of the COVID-19, is approximately 40 % of québec’s economy which has been virtually “closed” for eight weeks.
May 29, 2020 20h29
Québec does not raise taxes, despite the economic crisis
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — in Spite of the substantial expenses inherent in the crisis of the coronavirus, Québec does not always have to raise the income tax or the Quebec sales Tax (QST) to balance the budget.
The quebec minister of Finance, Eric Girard, the reiterated, on Friday when he spoke at the virtual conference, at the invitation of the board of trade of metropolitan Montreal.
“There will be no tax increase in Quebec. This is not in our philosophy of government. There will be a decrease in school taxes, as provided in the last budget, in the month of July. And we have no intention to increase the provincial sales tax, increase in personal income tax, the corporate income tax. It’s not the issue. This is not that password the return to a balanced budget”, ruled the quebec minister of Finance.
He admitted that the finances du Québec will be affected in the medium term and that it will have to be made “efforts”.
“We’ll have to do a long-term effort to get back on the path to a balanced budget. And this path will take three to five years,” he warned.
The minister Girard recalled that because of the COVID-19, is approximately 40 % of québec’s economy which has been virtually “closed” for eight weeks.
“Every month costs us 3 % of GDP and approximately $ 5 billion of public finances”, said the minister of Finance.
“We have no intention to increase the provincial sales tax, increase in personal income tax, the corporate income tax. It’s not the issue. This is not that password the return to a balanced budget. ”
Eric Girard, minister of Finance
The president of the Chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, who asked the minister Girard for the 800 listeners registered at the conference, he was not asked whether there are specifically to budget restrictions or measures of”austerity” to bring public finances back to balance point.
The minister has simply added : “the return to a balanced budget goes through a growth revenue which will be slightly higher than the expenditure. And that’s the game plan”.
Quebec was certainly in a good financial situation before the pandemic broke out, but “we cannot assume that the interest rate will always be lower in the next 20 years. This is why it is important to pay attention to the argument that “it is not serious if one makes significant deficits”. It is necessary to do large deficits to help our businesses and our people, but it is necessary to return to a balanced budget with a credible plan,” insisted the minister, Girard.
He was also warned that some sectors of economic activity will be affected by the crisis for a longer period of time : retail trade, tourism, catering, hospitality and aviation.
Centre-ville de Montréal
In addition, Mr. Leblanc has announced that he would soon present to the government Legault a recovery plan for the city centre of Montreal.
The city centre is and will be affected by the lack of workers in office buildings — 300,000 people work in those towers — the lack of students in the universities city centre and the lack of tourists from Quebec, Canada and abroad — 100 000 normally, said Mr. Leblanc.
The minister Girard said he is “ready to watch” this is the future plan, without, however, commit itself in advance to grant additional amounts.