TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 21, 2015) - Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada), the country's leading association for senior financial executives, applauds the federal government for balancing the budget. FEI Canada expresses concern about the reliance on one-time asset sales and contingency fund reductions, and calls on the Minister of Finance to be transparent with Canadians on how it plans to balance the budget on an ongoing basis in 2015-2016 and subsequent years.
"We are pleased that the government will finally achieve a balanced budget in fiscal 2015-2016," said Michael Conway, President and CEO of FEI Canada. "It remains to be seen how the federal government will manage this difficult feat in future."
FEI Canada believes that, in ordinary course, the government should balance the budget and reduce debt-to-GDP ratio without raising taxes, to be globally competitive and remain accessible to capital.
As the government continues to strive to balance its budget in future, FEI Canada believes the government missed the opportunity to simplify the Income Tax Act. Tax simplification will reduce tax administrative costs for both the government and taxpayers, a position that FEI Canada has promoted for some time.
While FEI Canada applauds the government's stated efforts to invest in innovation, we recommend the government review the level of innovation spending demonstrated by other countries, so as to avoid the risk of eroding Canada's competitiveness in the future.
FEI Canada supports the measures to help Canadians finance their retirement, including the additional Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution room.
"It is still important for Canadians to plan for retirement, as failure to do so will eventually put additional burden upon taxpayers through increased taxes in the future," said Norm Ferguson, chair of FEI Canada's Policy Forum.
FEI Canada encourages the government to help Canadians plan for retirement by developing a national framework on adequate retirement income. FEI Canada has previously recommended a modest expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and encourages the government to research this plausible solution, ensuring long term solvency of pension funds while maintaining stable contribution rates and preserving a fair standard of living for all Canadians in their senior years.
FEI Canada reiterated its top advocacy issues of concern to senior financial executives, which include:
- Create a positive business environment through fiscal prudence and transparency
- Corporate income tax simplification
- Adequate and sustainable retirement programs for Canadians
- Removal of interprovincial barriers regarding trade and labour mobility
- Cyber security
- Accountability, independence and diversity on boards of directors
Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) is the all industry professional membership association for senior financial executives. With eleven chapters across Canada and 1,600 members, FEI Canada provides professional development, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members. The association membership, which includes Chief Financial Officers, Audit Committee Directors and senior executives in the Finance, Controller, Treasury and Taxation functions, represents a significant number of Canada's leading and most influential corporations. www.feicanada.org