Judy Foote, Opposition Critic for Business and MHA for the District of Grand
Bank, says she finds it very ironic that the Williams Government is touting
their new red tape reduction strategy as a way to help small and medium
sized businesses save money, the same government that brought in new fees
and increased existing fees for businesses over the past two years.
obvious that this government has done very little to assist small and medium
sized businesses in the province," said Ms. Foote. "If this government was
serious about stimulating growth among small and medium sized businesses,
the first step would be to eliminate the extra red tape they created
themselves by introducing new fees and increasing fees that were already in
Some of the fees increased or imposed by the Williams government over the
past two years include a licence fee for food premises, fees for
inspections, documentation fees, and increased service costs. These are fees
that impact directly on small and medium sized businesses.
"Over 100 fees have been increased by this government since they came
into office. In addition, the economic climate in this province has been
negatively impacted by the cuts and lack of any new investment initiatives.
While this task force may be well-intentioned, it is clearly an attempt by
this government to suggest it is doing something constructive when their
actions to date clearly show differently. There is still no comprehensive
policy to encourage the growth and development of small and medium sized
businesses in this province, especially in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
"We all appreciate and recognize the importance of small and medium sized
businesses in this province and anything that can be done to help these
enterprises grow should be encouraged. However, until this government
accepts the fact that their decisions and approach are part of the problem,
I doubt very much that businesses in this province will see any real benefit
from this initiative."