It will be interesting to see the New Brunswick budget in March and see if there are any programs designed to create private sector jobs. I have been tracking US state budgets and many of them are adding new incentive programs to try and stimulate private sector job creation. California just announced $100 million in incentives to produce TV programs in that state. That as the state faces a multi-billion deficit. The gamble is that the cost of the program $100 million will be offset by the new tax revenue generated from new TV productions in that state. Will this happen? Who knows.
I am just not sure that our government has taken a long hard look at what policy levers and tax incentives might be used to stimulate private business investment in this province. I don’t suspect there will be much in that March budget other than more capital projects (government spending on short term projects) and maybe a tweak here or there on the tax side of the house.
I’d be for some radical new program like no corporate tax for 20 years on all export-oriented capital investment projects of $50 million or more. Or a new industrial revenue bond program for very large capital projects. If we are going to run up the public debt, we may as well create some good paying private sector jobs while we are doing it.
Maybe even, gasp, giving local municipalities the power to offer tax incentives. Heaven forbid that we give municipalities any – even slight – control over their own destinies.