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Moose Jaw Express January 22, 2020

Cutting Red Tape Boosts Our Economic Outlook

 Saskatchewan saw a year of strong job growth in 2019, according to new Statistics Canada data.  Saskatchewan saw an increase of 10,400 jobs from 2018. December 2019 also marked the 17th consecutive month of job growth on a year-over-year basis. This is an indication that in spite of challenges in 2019, Saskatchewan has a robust, diverse and growing economy.

Cutting red tape and modernizing regulations are important to keep our economy growing. In fact, growing small businesses and reducing government red tape are among the 20 actions in our government’s new Growth Plan to create 100,000 new jobs in the next decade.

This week is Red Tape Awareness Week. Launched by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and recognized by the Government of Saskatchewan, Red Tape Awareness Week aims to reduce the unnecessary regulation and red tape that costs business, residents and governments millions of dollars and thousands of hours in lost time every year.

Throughout my career, I worked in small businesses and served on the Saskatchewan Government Red Tape Reduction committee for five years. I have seen how reducing red tape makes such a difference to businesses, and am pleased with the progress being made in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan received the highest ‘A’ grade ranking by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in their 2019 national Red Tape Report Card. They recognized Saskatchewan for its ongoing leadership in red tape reduction by setting clear targets as well as measuring and reporting the regulatory burden.

Right off the start in 2020, Saskatchewan is reducing tape for businesses that file returns for the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), Liquor Consumption Tax (LCT), and Beverage Container Program. In addition, due dates for electronic filers are being extended.

Effective April 1, 2020:

  • the threshold for annual filing of PST, LCT, and beverage container returns will increase to $4,800 (from $3,600);
  • the threshold for quarterly filing will increase to a range of $4,800 to $12,000 (from $3,600 to $7,200); and
  • the threshold for monthly filing will increase to $12,000 (from $7,200).

Once the changes take effect, more than 4,600 Saskatchewan businesses will be able to file their returns less frequently.

These changes will save Saskatchewan businesses more than 11 per cent of their administrative costs related to the filing of PST, LCT, and beverage container returns.

The Government’s ‘Help Cut Red Tape’ web page is an easy, practical way to submit red tape headaches directly to the government and have them addressed. The web page offers an “always-on”, client-centred platform for citizens and businesses to report red tape irritants they have encountered in the province.  Each submission received from the public will be referred to the appropriate Government of Saskatchewan ministry, agency or Crown Corporation for effective follow up.

Anytime is a good time to help cut red tape, but especially during Red Tape Reduction Week.  I encourage you to visit the web page, http://saskatchewan.ca/help-cut-red-tape,  to share your ideas to help businesses , and our economy, grow.