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2013 Nova Scotia Budget Submission


Release Date: 03/11/2013
Staff Reference: Peggy McFarland

March 11, 2013

Honourable Maureen MacDonald
Minister of Finance
Department of Finance
7th Floor, Provincial Building
1723 Hollis Street, P.O. Box 187
Halifax, NS
B3J 2N3

Dear Minister:

Please find enclosed a submission from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) on your forthcoming Budget.

Established in 1894, CLHIA represents life and health insurers accounting for 99% of the business in Canada. The life and health insurance industry is a major contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy. The industry directly employs over 4,000 Nova Scotians and has almost $15 billion invested in the province. Last year, the industry paid almost $2 billion in benefits to Nova Scotians through life and health insurance products including life insurance, annuities, RRSPs, disability insurance and supplementary health plans.

The industry strongly supports Nova Scotia's commitment to live within its means and balance its budget by 2013-14. We applaud the steps that Nova Scotia has taken to provide a more competitive tax environment, in particular, the elimination of the large corporations capital tax. A competitive tax system is essential to promoting business growth and investment. The industry also strongly supports the Government's initiatives to promote health and wellness.

This submission recommends that Nova Scotia:

  • enact measures to facilitate the provision of Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) which are prudent, efficiently-managed, private pension plans, that would be available to Nova Scotia workers, particularly within smaller businesses, and the self-employed
  • resist any suggestions to impose a provincial Retail Sales Tax on insurance premiums, and, as fiscal circumstances permit, take action to reduce the existing premium tax on health and disability and life insurance to 2%, comparable to other jurisdictions, and ultimately eliminate it. This will make these products more affordable at a time when their role in meeting the health care and income protection and financial security needs of Nova Scotians is increasing.
  • expand the use of Private Public Partnerships (P3) for long-term infrastructure projects. This would support Nova Scotia's plan to make strategic investments to grow the economy and create jobs and would allow for investments in projects that would make the provincial economy more productive and competitive, without putting any additional pressures on provincial finances.
CLHIA appreciates the opportunity to contribute to Nova Scotia’s pre-budget consultation process. If you or your staff require any further information on these matters, my colleagues and I are at your disposal.

Yours sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Frank Swedlove
President