February 07, 2014 09:08 ET

Survey on Tax Change Shows Strong Public Support for Credit Unions

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Feb. 7, 2014) -

Attention: Business Editor

82% of Saskatchewan residents agree that Saskatchewan's credit unions play an important role in the provincial economy and 78% agree credit unions and banks should be treated fairly to reflect their differences when it comes to government policy.

Following the federal government's decision last year to eliminate the additional tax deduction for credit unions, the Saskatchewan government was left with the decision as to whether to allow the federal change to trigger a similar elimination of the provincial tax deduction.

To gauge public opinion on the issue, SaskCentral, the trade association for Saskatchewan credit unions, engaged Abacus Data to survey eligible Saskatchewan voters. The survey showed a clear majority (63%) of all respondents believe the provincial government should amend provincial law to preserve the existing tax deduction in place for credit unions. Among Sask Party supporters, the figure was 57%, while only 30% believed the provincial government should follow the federal direction and eliminate the deduction.

The survey also found that most eligible voters (82%) recognize the important role credit unions play in Saskatchewan's economy, with a large majority (68%) agreeing that credit unions operate differently from banks. 78% of respondents agreed that credit unions and banks should be treated fairly to reflect their differences when it comes to government policy. Among Sask Party supporters, this figure was even higher at 83%.

"The survey really reaffirms what we have always believed," said Keith Nixon, CEO of SaskCentral. "There is a good understanding of the unique role credit unions play in the economy of the province and no desire to see policies that erode the contribution credit unions are able to make to their communities. What it also shows is that this strong support for credit unions runs right across political party lines."

When asked whether a provincial decision to not reverse the negative effects to credit unions would affect the respondents' voting preferences, 19% overall indicated they would be less likely to vote Sask Party, while among current Sask Party supporters, this figure was 14%.

The survey consisted of phone interviews of 1,000 eligible voters conducted January 11 to 22, 2014. Sampling excluded from the survey anyone who indicated that they or a member of their household worked for a credit union, a market research firm, an advertising agency, the media, a financial institution or an investment organization. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

About SaskCentral - SaskCentral is owned by Saskatchewan credit unions to serve and represent their collective interests. There are 53 credit unions in Saskatchewan serving over 502,000 members. Saskatchewan credit unions build lives and fulfill dreams by helping members achieve financial well-being and investing in communities. SaskCentral is an Imagine Caring Company, and was named one of Canada's top 10 Best Workplaces among Canadian companies with fewer than 1000 employees by the Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. Visit us at:

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