Time for a hiring freeze at North Cowichan

Highly-paid management team needs to roll up is sleeves

Once again, I find reading the proposed North Cowichan tax increase a complete joke.

There is no mention of the new employer health tax effective January 1, 2019 brought in by the B.C. NDP minority government. Based on the 2017 total payroll expense for North Cowichan of $14,691,978, 58 employees earning $75,000 and more is $5,637,813 and other employees at $75,000 and under is $9,054,165. This new tax would amount to $286,493 based on 1.95 per cent of total payroll. This is paid by the taxpayers.

Hiring more staff is outrageous and because of this new tax, a hiring freeze should come into effect. Only hiring required is for employees that have left their jobs. Hire replacements only.

Additional amounts paid out from the 2017 financial statements for employee benefits are $216,656 to CUPE, $214,765 to B.C. Medical Services Plan, $2,168,859 to the pension corporation, $386,288 to Worksafe B.C., and $8,403,152 to the Receiver General for Canada.

Note that the NDP finance minister says that the elimination of MSP premiums will save employers money. How so? A total of $214,726 was paid out for MSP and with the new employer health tax the amount rises to $286,493 – an increase of $71,767. This is not peanuts from a taxpayer point of view. A 33.3 per cent increase is outrageous.

Another note is that $63,654 was paid out in petty cash. Petty cash is for reimbursements for items purchased for cash by employees for expenses pertaining to North Cowichan expenses. This is outrageous, and should have been noticed by the outside auditors when doing the 2017 year end financials.

Amounts this high could relate to items that have no bearing on North Cowichan expenses, and could have been personal employee purchases. When Revenue Canada does audits, it thoroughly goes through petty cash payments.

In summary, a hiring freeze effective January 1, 2019. Raising taxes year after year is poor economic sense and time for the highly-paid management team at North Cowichan to start doing their jobs properly.

Joe Sawchuk,

Duncan

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