Saskatchewan NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon (Regina Rosemont) was in Moose Jaw on Wednesday to meet with home builders, suppliers, and sub-trades from the local construction industry.
The focus was on the imposition of the PST on construction labour and the impact it’s had on the industry.
Wotherspoon said, “The reality is the construction sector is down province-wide. Jobs have been lost. What I heard from those around the table is that the imposition of the PST, the expansion of it on the construction industry, has really been devastating.” Wotherspoon said those at the meeting expressed how the PST has caused people to not go ahead with projects, which, he said, hurts the job-front and investment.
Last month, NDP leader Ryan Meili called on the Saskatchewan Party to reverse the expansion of the PST on construction labour. Wotherspoon said the NDP took that action because, “We need to fire up our economy.” He went on to say, “You’d expect a government to work to make things better. In this case, with the epitome of a job-killing tax, a tax on construction labour, the government is making things significantly worse.”
According to representatives at the meeting, there were 120 new homes built in Moose Jaw in 2012. This year, Wotherspoon said, there have only been 10 new homes built.
Wotherspoon also said the PST “is really hurting families” and that the NDP believes the government needs to be doing everything they can to create jobs across the province.
The expansion of the PST – from 5% to 6% - was introduced in the government’s 2017 – 2018 budget.