Finance minister announces insurance break for businesses

EI premiums cuts to reduce small business tax rate by 15 per cent

Finance Minister Joe Oliver has announced a cut on employment insurance premiums for small businesses that is intended to lower payroll tax rates by 15 per cent.

Oliver made the announcement at a small flooring business in Toronto on Thursday. The Small Business Job Credit, as it’s called, will reduce the current EI premium from $1.88 to $1.70 per $100. The cut is aimed at businesses currently paying $15,000 in premiums.

“Small businesses drive our prosperity and give back to our community,” Oliver said.

Oliver said the move will affect around 780,000 small businesses and will encourage growth in light of dire national job numbers. Over 100,000 jobs were lost last month in the private sector in the highest single-month drop on record.

The CFIB estimates the program will translate into 25,000 jobs.

The cuts are to take effect at the beginning of 2015 and remain throughout 2016.