Business opposition to taxation of benefits wins out

Chamber says it's 'gratified' that government listened before creating hardship

Opposition by business groups, including the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, has struck home, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing in the House of Commons that the government will not, after all, tax employer-sponsored benefit plans.

A government report on tax expenditures, released last year, had indicated that such a tax would add $2.9 billion to revenues in 2017, prompting the opposition.

Locally, that response came in the form of a letter sent by the Chamber to local Members of Parliament (Marilyn Gladu of Sarnia-Lambton and Bev Shipley of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) with a copy to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

“We are gratified as a Chamber that the government has recognized how this kind of taxation could have quickly cascaded to the point where it becomes a hardship for Canadians,” said CEO Shirley de Silva. “On behalf of our members, it’s important that the Chamber steps up before actions like a proposed tax on health benefits become a reality.”

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