SOURCE: Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

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February 21, 2017 19:01 ET

Strong fiscal performance maintains B.C. economic momentum

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - February 21, 2017) - The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) applaud the government for its fifth consecutive balanced budget. The government's strong fiscal performance has allowed it to make infrastructure and social investments that will benefit British Columbians now and in the future.

"Our province's economic growth, coupled with the government's strong commitment to fiscal restraint has led to forecasted budget surpluses over the next three years: $295 million in 2017-18; $244 million in 2018-19; and $223 million in 2019-20," said Richard Rees, FCPA, FCA, president and CEO of CPABC. "In addition, the government is on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021. Reducing debt and managing costs ensures B.C. maintains its triple-A credit rating, keeping debt maintenance costs reasonable."

This year's budget also focused on improving business productivity in a challenging global trade climate.

"B.C.'s CPAs have ranked establishing business input tax credits as a key priority for the provincial government in our annual Business Outlook Survey. We welcome the elimination of the provincial sales tax on electricity over the next two years, this is a good first step towards improving our economy's competitiveness," continued Rees. "However, with respect to reducing the small business corporate income tax rate to 2 per cent from 2.5 per cent, many business groups have questioned whether or not the already low small business tax rate was acting as a disincentive for business growth. Creating an environment that encourages small businesses to grow into medium and large businesses should be an economic priority."

While the global economy faces uncertainty, B.C. is poised to enjoy modest economic growth over the next three years, at 2.1 per cent, 2.1 per cent, and 2.0 per cent in 2017, 2018, and 2019-21 respectively.

"The government's fiscal responsibility has allowed it to reduce MSP premiums, and make strategic investments in health care, K-12 education, housing affordability, and provincial infrastructure. These investments will not only help the average British Columbian, but will also position B.C. as a leader within Canada," said Rees.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for almost 35,000 CPA members and 5,500 CPA students and candidates. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.

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