Thursday, Finance Minister Éric Girard will table the first budget of a Coalition Avenir Québec government. Quebeckers and the business community are entitled to high expectations of this government, which has campaigned on its economic skills.
At the presentation of his cabinet meeting on October 18, Prime Minister François Legault did not hesitate to say that he had a “dream economic team. Such a team must have the backdrop of a plan that keeps the course on sound public financial management. As long as economic growth is holding up, we must take advantage of this situation to continue to deleverage Quebec, while planning a recovery plan if the situation makes it necessary.
The FCCQ believes that this budget should target three priorities, which are essential for sustainable economic growth in Quebec.
1. Mitigate the scarcity of manpower
First, for the last five years, and for at least a generation, the scarcity of labor is and will remain the main obstacle to the competitiveness and growth of Quebec businesses. This is particularly the case in the regions. The FCCQ recommends putting in place powerful tax and other incentives to encourage everyone’s participation in the job market and adapting workplaces to this new reality. We must aim for better retention of experienced workers and better selection and integration of immigrants. We also want a culture of lifelong learning, especially so that workers’ skills evolve as technology changes take place.
2. Support innovation and increase technology intensity
There is no collective enrichment without increasing productivity. To achieve better results in this area, companies need the innovation support needed to invest in productive and existing technologies, as the financial side is a barrier to such investment for many companies.
Beyond research and development essential to innovation, tax measures to adopt existing productivity-enhancing technologies would certainly yield results.
3. Stimulate entrepreneurship
Finally, the economic success of a society is largely conditioned by less tangible and yet ubiquitous issues. On the one hand, the regulation and the associated constraints, on the other, the attitude and the climate surrounding the company and the investment. The budget statement represents an opportunity to concretely demonstrate the government’s interest in entrepreneurship, by accelerating business access to venture capital for innovative ideas that have never been tested, thus allowing more marketers to be marketed. quickly innovative projects.
It is also important to maintain a climate conducive to investment, in particular by reducing the regulatory and administrative constraints that hinder innovation, especially those whose real purpose is not to protect consumers or workers, but rather to create barriers to entry.
Let us hope that the government proposes to Quebecers a budget with a vision that is at once coherent, ambitious and realistic; a budget that sets a clear path towards realizing the immense potential of Quebec and those who live there.
The FCCQ does not expect less from this first Caquist budget.