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Average Canadians left empty-handed after disappointing federal budget 

(Ottawa, February 23, 2005) —

Canada’s Certified General Accountants are disappointed that today’s federal budget contained little for ordinary Canadian taxpayers and small business.

There were only modest gains for corporate Canada, with some adjustments to the Capital Cost Allowance rates on specified equipment and new tax breaks for Canadians with long-term disabilities. In addition, low-income seniors will receive more generous Guaranteed Income Supplements starting in 2006.

“This budget is a lot of talk and very little action,” says Anthony Ariganello, FCGA, CGA-Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Implementation for most business changes starts in 2008 and for individuals in 2006, offering no short-term help for individual or corporate taxpayers. The average Canadian family can only look forward to an additional $300 saving in 2008 and that’s simply not enough.”

CGA-Canada finds that pushing tax changes further down the road is puzzling, given Canada’s strong financial position.

“The Canadian economy is robust. Revenue is flowing into federal coffers. We expected to see tax breaks now,” says Everett Colby, BSBA, CFE, FCGA, Chair of CGA-Canada’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee.

The Association is disappointed that the elimination of the corporate surtax will not be fully implemented until 2008. A similar delayed approach is also the case with the general corporate tax rate. It drops from 21 per cent to 19 per cent, but only at the end of the decade.

Other budget measures include a cumulative $11 billion in savings from expenditure review promised by the government. Almost 90 per cent of this comes from improved efficiencies, a one-time saving.

To view CGA-Canada’s federal budget 2005 commentary, go to 2005 federal budget main page.

About CGA-Canada

CGA is the second-largest and fastest-growing accounting designation in the country. With a focus on integrity and ethics, and one of the highest education requirements in the profession, CGAs have become the country’s accounting and business leaders, providing strategic counsel, financial leadership, and overall direction to all sectors of the Canadian economy.

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada represents 62,000 CGAs and students in Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and China. The Association sets standards, develops and maintains education programs, publishes professional materials, advocates on public policy issues, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.

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