Damage from PST-on-construction hike continues: NDP

New reports from Moody’s and Statistics Canada are showing how the Sask. Party’s hike to PST on construction labour has caused a significant downturn in that industry, leading the NDP to renew its call to scrap the hike.

“The construction industry was dealt a blow by the Sask. Party government and has endured significant downfall and job loss,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “They hit the brakes on an industry that was already slowing, and the damage is definitely showing with more and more Saskatchewan people and companies looking for work.”

A recently released report from Moody’s Analytics forecasts serious declines in home values for each of the next two years, and Saskatchewan continues to lead the nation with the rate of mortgages in arrears.

According to the Stats Canada report, investment in residential and non-residential construction in Saskatchewan decreased 7.7 per cent compared with March 2018. The total investment in residential construction in Saskatchewan was $221.8 million, the fourth lowest of all provinces.  

Earlier this month, Statistics Canada reported that the value of residential building permits in Saskatchewan dropped over 18 per cent between February and March. Year over year the value went down nearly 45 per cent, which was one of the worst decreases in the country.

“We saw 1,400 jobs lost in construction year over year in March; in April we saw 1,800 construction jobs lost compared to the year before,” Wotherspoon said. “In addition to that job loss, what we’re seeing today should make clear to the government that their tax hike has been harmful and needs to be scrapped immediately.”