With Statistics Canada data released today showing the value of building permits dropping 22.8% ($43.9 million) over the last year, the NDP is renewing its call for the government to remove the PST from construction labour and contracts.
“The Sask. Party’s damaging decision to add PST to construction has hurt workers and companies throughout the province,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “There’s no doubt that the PST hike is a significant cause of the downturn in this important industry.”
Saskatchewan’s nearly 23 per cent drop in value of building permits was the second worst in all of Canada, with only the Northwest Territories seeing one steeper. The latest figures from Statistics Canada also show that the total number of residential and non-residential building permits in Saskatchewan has been flat over the last few months.
“The construction industry is vital to the province’s economy, but this government’s PST expansion has kneecapped it,” Wotherspoon said. “Since the tax hike, companies have had to take on fewer projects and lay off workers. To force the construction industry to pay the price for Sask. Party mismanagement is wrong. The tax hike should be reversed immediately.”