A ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada announced today upholding the federal carbon tax is “deeply disappointing for small businesses in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta,” says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
The tax, which is set to increase on April 1, it said, places a disproportionately high financial burden on small firms, while providing consumers “bigger rebates” than the amount they pay in.
“Small firms simply cannot afford a further increase in their overall tax burden, especially as many remain in full lockdown or subject to significant COVID-19 related restrictions,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.
CFIB research, a release stated, has found that even though small businesses contribute almost 50% of the carbon tax revenues, they receive only 7% in the form of grants and rebates.
“Some of the small programs intended to support small firms reduce their carbon emissions have never been introduced,” it added.
“Consumers receive 90% of the rebate payments. Four out of five businesses estimate they can pass on less than a quarter of the new costs to consumers and 78% are not in a position to take on new costs to advance environmental initiatives at this time.”
CFIB said it will urge the federal government to delay any further increases in the federal carbon tax for the foreseeable future and change how the tax is redistributed so that small businesses are rebated an amount similar to what they have paid.
“Small businesses are swimming in COVID debt and less than a third are even back to making normal levels of sales,” said Kelly. “The last thing they need is a new cost.”