Date: August 13, 2019
TAX CREDIT FREEZE A BAD MOVE, SAY GREENS
EDMONTON – A recent decision by the provincial government to freeze a tax credit that previously stimulated growth in information technology, clean technology, health technology, interactive digital media, and digital animation has drawn the criticism of the Green Party of Alberta.
GPA Leader, Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes, says that the 30% tax credit had channeled badly needed venture capital to small businesses that would diversify the economy from fossil fuels. “The seed money generated from these tax credits enabled new industries to emerge, often supporting companies that employ 100 or less workers. The tax freeze is a short-sighted move, drawing into question the competency of UCP as managers of the economy.”
According to Statistics Canada, Alberta lost 20,000 jobs in the oil and gas sector in just 2015. The tax credit was looked upon by entrepreneurs and small business as stimulating activity in non-fossil fuel sectors. According to Chagnon-Greyeyes, such a move “again exposes Albertans to a situation where we are putting all of our economic eggs in an increasingly leaky basket. These tax credits enabled oil and gas workers to transition to technology jobs. That support has disappeared thanks to the lack of foresight by the UCP.”
“Alberta needs to be retraining petroleum engineers, geoscientists, and other oil and gas professionals to make the leap to emergent technology and renewable energy. This would be a priority for the Green Party,” says Chagnon-Greyeyes. “What we need is a vision beyond tomorrow. In March of this year, there were 2000 openings for software engineers, data scientists, and other types of programming, development and technology roles in Calgary alone, so a move like this means opportunities are going unmet. By scrapping the tax credit, the UCP government is demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes a sustainable economy.”
With the tax credit in place, over 30% of technology start-up small businesses have been led by women, more than twice the national average. “Our concern is that when the venture capital that arises from the tax credit goes away, this will shut the door to women and further entrench gender economic inequality,” says the Green Party leader.
In 2018, the 28.1 million dollars in tax credits was used as leverage for 94 million dollars’ worth of for small and medium sized businesses in Alberta.
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For more information, please contact:
Leader of the Green Party of Alberta