Charlottetown, PE (May 25, 2023) – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce (GCACC) welcomes investments in affordability in the 2023-24 provincial operating budget, including increasing the Basic Personal Amount to $12,750 in 2023 and $13,500 in 2024.
“We are very pleased to see this increase, so our province remains a competitive place to attract workforce and allow Islanders to keep more and use more of their hard-earned money,” said GCACC Interim-CEO Kim Horrelt. “With rising costs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses and employees to stay afloat, and we hope government can continue to be part of the solution.”
Over the last year in our submissions and meetings with government, including in pre-budget consultation, our Chamber has advocated for the province to increase the Basic Personal Amount to at least $13,000 by 2024 to better align with the national average.
Beginning in 2024, the current tax brackets will also be replaced by a five-bracket system. Our Chamber appreciates the tax rates decreasing by a few decimal points each, however, we note that the new lowest-income tax bracket – of 9.65% for $32,656 and below – is still the highest rate percentage compared to the other Atlantic provinces.
Our Chamber has been advocating for the province to re-evaluate the tax bracket model to be more competitive, and while the five-bracket system better aligns with our neighbouring provinces, it will continue to have the highest comparative rate for low-income workers.
We were disappointed to not see anything on supporting our small business owners with the high cost of doing business. In a recent survey of our membership, cost of doing business was ranked the number one concern for respondents for 2023. We also were disappointed to not see more related to growing and sustaining our workforce, as many of our members are still experiencing the impacts of a labour shortage. We look forward to working with the province to continue tackling labour issues and address cost of doing business.
Looking forward, our Chamber would like to see more government collaboration with the private sector, and as we called for in our pre-budget submission, outsourcing of government work to our private businesses to strengthen economic growth. We will build a more resilient PEI by moving forward together.
Overall, our Chamber welcomes other budget announcements such as:
- $2 million over 4 years to establish the Workplace Adaptation Fund to encourage employers to retrofit workplaces to become accessible for workers with physical and intellectual disabilities.
- $150,000 to fund sector and industry groups experiencing chronic labour shortages to develop online training tools for professional development and upskilling.
- Increasing the Housing Challenge Fund by $50 million. However, we encourage the province to continue to reduce red tape challenges for private developers to promote supply growth.
- $4 million towards the construction of the new BioAccelerator Facility.
- Expediate routes for international skilled workers to join PEI workforce.
Click here to view the 2023-24 provincial operating budget.
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 1,150 members. For more information on the Chamber, visit www.charlottetownchamber.com.
Policy and Communications Specialist
(902) 628-2000 x 224