Finance minister hints at new payroll tax policy

Daniel MacEachern
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Finance Minister Tom Marshall told some of the province’s biggest employers this morning to “watch the blue book” for the government’s plans for payroll taxes. — Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram

Just a few days before the provincial election writ drops, the province’s finance minister dangled a hint of a payroll tax promise to come in front of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council.

Speaking at the council’s employment relations summit at the Sheraton Hotel this morning, Tom Marshall reminded representatives of some of the province’s biggest employers that the government has raised the threshold under which businesses pay no payroll taxes. The council, under executive director Richard Alexander, has called for elimination of payroll taxes altogether. Marshall, in a 30-minute speech to about 30 people, suggested the council would find favourable news in the Progressive Conservative’s “blue book,” which will contain the party’s platform during the upcoming election campaign.

“We raised the exemption in ‘08 and this year. It’s $1.2 million now, so the first $1.2 million in payroll is exempt,” he said. “We’ve listened carefully to what you’ve had to say, and I must say Richard Alexander has made the argument quite forcefully, and we’re listening. So watch the blue book. Maybe there’s some good things there.”

Asked for more detail after the speech, Marshall talked about measures taken by the provincial government to reduce the province’s overall tax burden.

“The Board of Trade, the Employers’ Council, they want to see us eliminate what they call the payroll tax, it’s really the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Act,” he said. “Government has no money other than what the people and businesses give them through taxes, so we have to strike a balance between having taxes that are competitive, so we’re not overtaxing people and overtaxing businesses but also giving us the revenue that we need to do things like the long-term care facilities and helping people who need help.

Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Employers, Sheraton Hotel, Board of Trade

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Recent comments

  • Mejarvis
    September 16, 2011 - 01:15

    I say any overtime should not be taxed as hard. Anyone who works 40 hours a week is taxed hard enough.. So why is a bigger chuck when a person works over time saving up for that special item or pay off that nagging bill get ding more when they had to put in extra time worked and pay extra in taxes.. Just an idea..

  • Roy
    September 15, 2011 - 18:35

    Mr. Marshall must have gotten some good info from his meeting with the board of trade re pensions because it now appears that he is about to give them a big lift. Those buisnesses who pay minimum wages, no health benefits and no pension will now be able to pocket more money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, you don't suppose Mr Marshall wil raid the pooled pension fund to help these buisnesses. Wouldn't put it past him, he didn't indicate that there was anything in the Blue book for pensioners who haven't got an increase since 1989. How much did or will Mr Marshall gain with the 3% break for those on OAS i would think that anyone on OAS wouldn't be paying income tax therefore would get no benefit. Don't let Mr Marshall con you. Check the figures

  • Bill
    September 15, 2011 - 15:53

    By giving into business the Richard Alexanders and his friends get richer and the average Joe gets poorer. In fact if you look at most of the financial policies of the Conservatives you will see lots of tiny payouts to the destitute and working poor while the breaks to businesses are getting larger and larger all the time. The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow and I would challenge Tom Marshall to prove it otherwise.

  • maggie
    September 15, 2011 - 15:14

    lets throw a parade!! if they would stop taxing the poor, working & middle classes so much....I can dream..can't I?,, their minds are NOT on the majority of Nl'drs, I can see my already shrinking paycheque being further eroded to pay for the shortfall of the payroll tax. The pc government want's to fatten the pockets of business' & my fear is that it will be done on my back & my fellow citizens.' Not to save their lives will I ever vote pc again...

    • Bill
      September 15, 2011 - 19:31

      Easy to beat up on the business. When the liberals brought in the payroll tax, my boss had to lay off people in order to pay the tax. How's that for a shrinking paycheque? payroll taxes are regressive.

  • Graham
    September 15, 2011 - 11:34

    Yes Tom and I have 27 acres of ocen front property in Nevada you can buy from me tax free. Bad timing close to the election. You wouldnt by any chance be trying to buy votes would you? Want my vote? Remove the HST on Gasoline. We are a oil rich province after all and a so called have province. When Danny put the oil in the ground he never mentioned all this tax on a tax bull crap.

    • Yippee
      September 15, 2011 - 14:30

      So you don't have an issue with buying votes since you've just admitted that yours is for sale.

  • Casandra
    September 15, 2011 - 11:25

    here we go again, did the government run out of fire trucks!!!!?????? nothing to do with the Prov Election, Marshall and Dunderdale, dumb and dumber buying votes.............

    • Did You read this
      September 15, 2011 - 12:06

      Er, yeah, he even says so when he refers to the ' Progressive Conservative’s “blue book,” which will contain the party’s platform during the upcoming election campaign '. Do you think that only the opposition parties can make election promises.

  • dianne soo
    September 15, 2011 - 11:13

    Just when you think you hearer it all...Tom Marshall stand up with this kind of comment ...give us brake.I think it time for a change.

  • MR
    September 15, 2011 - 10:43

    And of course this is not a political announcement with an election on the way

    • Carl
      September 15, 2011 - 11:42

      So what if the government is making political promises before an election? Isn't that a given? This is how democracy works: All parties are allowed to make promises and announce their own platforms whenever they want - including before the election is called. The statement made by Marshall does not commit any funding to flow before the election, so it's not the same as announcing a new conference centre or firetruck. It's a policy that would be enacted if the PCs were re-elected. Nothing wrong with that.

    • MR
      September 15, 2011 - 14:25

      i don't mind the promises before the election. Yes it is expected. I just don't like it when they say it is not political. He didn't mention it in the above story but if you ask him, I am sure he will deny it, as Dunderdale and French have done already.