NDP call for PST hike on construction labour to be scrapped

With the damage continuing to accumulate from the Sask. Party government’s decision to add PST to construction labour, the NDP is repeating its call for the policy, which is helping drive that industry into ‘deep recession,’ to be reversed.

“This is an industry that should be driving our economy and creating lots of good jobs in the trades, but the province threw a wrench in the engine by adding the PST to construction labour,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “In March we saw 1,400 jobs lost in construction year over year; in April we saw 1,800 construction jobs lost compared to the year before. These are good mortgage-paying jobs that are being lost and good people being hurt because of this government’s damaging decision.”

Written questions submitted by the NDP show that government revenue collected from the construction industry has fallen from $344.6 million in 2017-18 to $318 million in 2018-19 — another sign of the damage done to the industry. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that the value of residential building permits in Saskatchewan is down over 18 per cent between February and March. Year over year the value is down nearly 45 per cent, which was one of the worst drops in the country.

“Workers and companies in the housing sector are hurting because of this PST hike by the Sask. Party,” Wotherspoon said. “They need to do the right thing, and scrap it immediately, so we can get this important industry back on track.”