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Steady Course Budget 2014 Signals a Welcome End to Deficits, Says CGA-Canada

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/11/14 -- Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed today that he expects the books to be balanced next year. CGA-Canada urges the government to continue with firm economic stewardship including lower taxes and effective spending control.

"We of course applaud the economic leadership and move toward a surplus budget amidst ongoing global uncertainty," says Anthony Ariganello, CGA-Canada's president and CEO. "The minister has achieved the promised targets through sound financial management."

"This is truly a bridge budget," adds Ariganello, referring to the oft-used pundit phrase, which assumes that Budget 2014 is not as significant as the 2015 budget that will be delivered in advance of the next federal election.

Leading up to the 2014 budget, recommendations from CGA-Canada included a call for simplifying the tax system, implementing a "patent box" to encourage innovation, and introducing standard business reporting to ease red tape. "Such initiatives deliver bang for the buck and would be an investment in Canadians," Ariganello notes.

"Budget 2014 hints that the government may want to start tackling tax simplification by introducing measures to streamline the tax filing burden and reducing the unnecessary complexity of some rules," says Carole Presseault, vice president, Government and Regulatory Affairs at CGA-Canada. "We welcome the minister's commitment to bring forward legislation to require an annual tabling in Parliament of the government's outstanding tax measures. This reflects the intent of Bill C-549, as brought forward by MP Mike Allen, FCGA."

Since its election, the government has provided significant tax relief to Canadians but has marred its record by introducing a number of targeted tax measures that favour selected groups. Many argue this policy is not as economically efficient as broader tax reductions and increases complexity within the system. "To truly support Canadian households and businesses, there must be greater focus on broad-based relief, including increasing personal income tax thresholds and lowering personal income tax rates at all income brackets," says Presseault. "We believe this is where the surplus should be invested."

"As federal surpluses are on the horizon, we urge the minister to work with the accounting profession and others to outline a plan that makes sense for Canada now and in the future," concludes Ariganello. "This plan must include a simpler, more efficient tax system."

CGA-Canada's full budget insight and analysis, visit www.cga.org/canada/budget2014.

CGA-Canada and CPA Canada made a co-branded pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in 2013.

ABOUT CGA-CANADA

Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and nearly 100 countries. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally. CGA-Canada is currently working with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) to integrate operations under the CPA banner. Unification will enhance the influence, relevance and contribution of the Canadian accounting profession both at home and internationally.

Visit us online at www.cga.org/canada.

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