Manufacturing among the winners in Flaherty’s budget

Thursday March 21, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Manufacturing and the skilled trades were among the big winners in federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget announced Thursday. The budget contains a combination of continued tax breaks and new spending designed to bring relief to the manufacturing sector. The budget will give businesses $1.4 billion in tax relief for buying new equipment. Close to $1 billion will flow to southern Ontario and its  hard-hit auto sector, and the aerospace industry will benefit from  almost $1 billion in spending over the next five years. The centrepiece of the budget is a revamped plan for skills training to better align the Canadian workforce with employer needs. ‘‘For the first time, the Canada Job Grant will take skills-training choices out of the hands of government and put them where they belong, in the hands of employers and Canadians who want to work,'' Flaherty told the House of Commons. The plan won't kick in until April 2014 and is contingent on negotiations with the provinces, who are expected to foot the bill for a third of each $15,000 training grant, with Ottawa and the employer also chipping in $5,000 each. Quebec's sovereignist government had begun kicking up a fuss before the budget was even tabled, and likely won't be the only provincial capital to squawk. Skills training was moved to provincial jurisdiction in the last decade, and Ottawa's more direct intervention may be construed as a sharp change of course. —With files from the Canadian Press

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