Charlottetown, PE (Feb. 29, 2024) – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce acknowledges the 2024-2025 provincial operating budget with a mixed reaction, welcoming movements in personal taxation, but noting a lack of investments in business and programs to address labour shortages.

The Chamber is encouraged to see the province increase the basic personal amount to $14,250 starting in 2025, raise the tax bracket thresholds, and lower the rates for the first four brackets.

“For years, our Chamber has been advocating for the province to increase the basic personal amount and to re-evaluate its tax brackets to be more competitive.,” said Chamber CEO Bianca McGregor.

The Chamber has also been advocating for the province to automatically index its personal income brackets to remain competitive and prevent inflationary bracket creep. The Nova Scotia budget announced today that its government will start indexing in 2025, making PEI the only province to not automatically index its tax brackets.

The Chamber will continue to advocate for the provincial government to index income tax and for an expedition of the timeline to a $15,000 basic personal amount.

“We note the budget did not dive much into general business or private labour market supports, however plans to accelerate housing starts is encouraging. Rising costs of doing business and labour shortages are a concern for our membership, and we will continue to urge the government to prioritize these issues as well,” said McGregor.

The Chamber welcomes the $6.7 million investment to continue providing tax rebates for newly constructed multi-unit residential buildings, including rebates of HST and property taxes through the Residential Unit Development Incentive program. We also welcome an investment of $300,000 to hire four new housing development positions, including electrical inspectors and client services to reduce wait times for building permits.

The Chamber welcomes other investments such as:

  • $2 million to continue investing in the bioscience sector through the development of a second incubator space.
  • $500,000 towards the Tourism Season Expansion program, continuing to assist tourism operators with product development for the shoulder seasons and to continue efforts to make PEI a year-round destination.
  • An investment of $65,000 to launch the Future Shellfish Fishers Program, modeled after the Future Fishers Program and to be developed with industry and stakeholder input.
  • Critical investments in healthcare, including but not excluded to, improving recruitment of healthcare professionals and continuing training and upskilling for more RCWs, LPNs, Paramedics, and RNs.

 

We look forward to working with government to see movement towards our asks about housing and labour market, including:

  • Working collaboratively with private-sector developers, municipalities, and other relevant stakeholders – including our Chamber – to increase the overall supply of housing units in PEI.
  • Granting landlords in PEI the right to increase vacant units, where a tenant leaves voluntarily, to market rent.
  • Partnering with the private sector to fund a multi-sector workforce strategy with targets for economic growth, including business and community-led solutions.
  • Investing in the private sector by outsourcing more work.
  • Maintaining funding for immigration support services to aid newcomers and their transition into our workforce and business community.

Click here to view our full 2024-2025 provincial pre-budget submission and recommendations.

 

 

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About The Chamber:

The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce connects business and community and is PEI’s largest business advocacy organization with more than 1,100 members. For more information on the Chamber, visit www.charlottetownchamber.com.

 

Media Contact:

Madeline Biso

Policy Analyst & Media Relations Manager

mbiso@charlottetownchamber.com

(902) 628-2000 x 224