REGINA - In light of the Sask. Party’s imposition of 32 new tax and fee increases in the 2022-23 Budget, Official Opposition Critic for Finance Trent Wotherspoon and Critic for Parks, Culture and Sport Matt Love called on the government to cut the proposed PST expansion and better support industries reeling from the effects of COVID-19.
“This budget damages already struggling sport and culture industries,” Wotherspoon said. “Instead of support, this government imposed a 6% PST on Rider games, museums, gyms, and the list goes on. The Sask. Party is making sport and culture industries foot the bill for their pandemic mismanagement at a time of soaring resource revenues.”
Shock at the budget unveiling quickly turned to scorn as industry leaders called on the province to scrap the new taxes. Tim Reid, president and CEO of Regina Exhibition Association Ltd., said “the last two years have been the darkest time the industry has ever faced” and that the 2022 Budget “will impact our business operations and entertainment goers.” Mark von Schellwitz of Restaurants Canada said the 2022 Budget poses “a cost increase at a time when we should actually be lowering costs for consumers.” And the Saskatchewan Roughriders said the “decision will impact many in our community who are looking forward to coming together on Rider game day and for the 2022 Grey Cup.”
“The tax and fee increases come at the wrong time for Saskatchewan’s health system. A tax on keeping fit and having fun isn’t just bad for business. It’s bad for health outcomes,” said Love. “This government already slashed funding to Active Saskatchewan’s flagship program and now the imposition of PST on gym memberships adds even more barriers to keeping Saskatchewan people healthy.”
The Official Opposition calls on the government of Saskatchewan to scrap the proposed tax and fee hikes and introduce measures supporting businesses and families struggling with cost of living increases.