Analysis of the 2023 Ontario budget: investing in business
The Ontario Government released their 2023 budget, which attempted to balance a need for fiscal restraint with new and continued investment in businesses and workers.
On the face of it, the first post-pandemic budget released by Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy fell in line with traditional conservative fiscal policies of supporting businesses while limiting spending. Concerns around rising inflation and interest rates also played into the government’s decision making.
Despite the economic uncertainty, Minister Bethlenfalvy announced that he expects to be able to present a balanced budget in 2024, three years earlier than anticipated.
No direct payment relief was designated for families currently dealing with inflation and associated increases in the cost of living.
Building a strong Ontario
The new budget continues to support the Ford government’s “Building Ontario” agenda. This includes a $400 million investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund and funding to create industrial sites to attract new manufacturing to the province.
What matters to the auto care sector
With a focus on business, there are several investments proposed in the 2023 budget that are likely to impact the province’s auto care sector.
Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit
The introduction of the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit provides a ten per cent refundable corporate income tax credit to manufacturers in the province.
Skills Development Fund
The government is providing $75 million to enhance the Skills Development Fund over the next three years. AIA Canada has made use of this program, securing funding for a successful EV training program at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
With the goal of attracting more skilled workers to the province–including those in the skilled trades–the government has earmarked an additional $25 million in funding to enhance the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
Making auto insurance more affordable
The Ontario government announced it would be building on previous commitments to make auto insurance more affordable. This includes tackling fraud and looking at options to increase choice.
Small business tax breaks
With the goal of reducing their tax burden, the government announced that more small businesses would be eligible for the small business corporate income tax rate of 3.2 per cent.
AIA Canada participated in pre-budget consultations with the Government of Ontario, where we supported increased funding for skills training. We will continue to advocate to government on this and other issues that are important to the auto care industry.
For more information, please contact Alana Baker, AIA Canada’s Senior Director of Government relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.