Meili calls on Sask. Party to reverse addition of PST to construction labour

NDP Leader Ryan Meili called today for a reversal of one of the several unpopular decisions in their 2017 budget that has not yet been reversed: the Sask. Party’s expansion of PST to construction labour.

“This is a government that saw the economy slowing down and they slammed on the brakes,” said Meili. “Adding PST to construction labour at such a time has hurt the industry and further weakened the broader economy. We’ve heard loud and clear from industry stakeholders how this decision would hurt them, and the numbers we see now are bearing that up.”

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • According to Statistics Canada data released this week, overall investment in non-residential construction is falling in Saskatchewan. Construction investment for the third quarter of 2018 of had the biggest year-over-year decline outside PEI.
  • Data released this week by Statistics Canada reinforce concerns about the impact of the PST on the housing industry. Year-over-year investment in new housing construction is down $38.2M, a decline of 32.7 per cent – the biggest drop among provinces.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the value of residential building permits dropped by 29.5 per cent between August 2017 and August 2018. In that same time frame, non-residential permits dropped by a staggering 35.7 per cent. Unlike Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba saw an increase in their building permits’ value. Overall, B.C. increased by 42.7 per cent and Manitoba went up by 39.5 per cent.
  • The latest job numbers from Statistics Canada shows that there are 6,400 fewer full-time jobs in Saskatchewan compared to last month, and 1,200 construction jobs were lost over the last year.

“Families are hurting and we’re already losing people to other provinces due to a lack of job opportunities,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “The expansion of PST to include construction labour only made the situation worse.

“Saskatchewan people need a job-creating government that values the industries that make this province a better place to live and work, and that includes the construction industry.”