April 22, 1980 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Cyril Keeper

New Democratic Party

Mr. Keeper:

The whole question of interest rates demonstrates the government's attitude toward management of the

April 22, 1980
The Address-Mr. Keeper
economy. I would like to deal with high interest rates as they affect small business. It is mentioned in the throne speech that the ceiling for loans under the Small Businesses Loans Act will be raised to $100,000. I would say that that is a simple bookkeeping change, in the sense that it just takes account of inflation as it affects the size of the loan for which one would be eligible under that program. It does not affect the interest rate for small business since the rate under that program is the prime rate plus 1 per cent, and in this context we should note that business bankruptcies for the first two months of 1980, according to the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, are up as compared with the same period in 1979, by 24.8 per cent. These bankruptcies are directly attributable to the very high interest rates and to poor economic management.

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