Another boondoggle? Despite having reportedly spent more than $600,000 to advertise the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) the provincial government has hit the pause button.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Charles DeSousa confirmed that the first stage in implementing ORPP will be delayed one year to 2018. According to DeSousa, this push back is “to provide more time for discussion among provinces and the federal government” about expanding the Canada Pension Plan.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomed the news.
“We are pleased to see that the government is taking a more cautious approach to implementing the ORPP in a difficult economy,” said Dan Kelly, president, CFIB. “We hope it is a signal that government is beginning to recognize the economic harm this ill-advised policy would create and urge them to implement a similar delay for the small- and medium-sized businesses that drive the province’s job market.”
Government data from March 2015 shows that close to 60% of those in the business community are opposed to ORPP.
“CFIB has been sharing similar data collected from our members with the Ontario government for the last two years. We hope today’s delay is a sign that the government is finally taking seriously the impact the ORPP will have on wages and jobs,” said Kelly. “While CFIB continues to firmly oppose the ORPP and plans for a CPP expansion, we hope that today’s announcement will make it less likely that Ontarians see the double whammy of both ORPP and CPP payroll tax hikes.”
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) was also pleased with the news that ORPP was put on pause. The OCC wrote a letter to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne on January 22, 2016 outlining its concern with the fast-approaching implementation date of January 1, 2017 and urging the government to defer ORPP contributions until 2018.
“(The) announcement shows that government is listening to the business community as it moves ahead with the implementation of the ORPP,” said Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the OCC. “A critical next step is for government to establish a clear communications timeline that outlines how and when employers will receive information relating to the ORPP and any obligations they or their employees may have.”