Mr. Barry Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue):
Mr. Speaker, I hope you will give me the chance to respond because there is much good news in the highlights of the Minister of Finance's economic statement given yesterday in the House.
A significant part of the statement by the Minister of Finance was devoted to small business and to new and improved ways of helping this very important sector of our Canadian economy. I would like to highlight a few of them.
The Small Businesses Foans Act program which assists small business in obtaining access to financing will be made even more effective by the increase in maximum loan size to $250,000. This higher limit will permit larger program loans for all eligible businesses, including firms investing in technology, to improve their competitiveness. A number of other improvements are being made to the program and these will be made public tomorrow when the Minister of State for Small Businesses and Tourism tables a bill to amend the act.
As indicated in the economic statement, the government is also working to broaden the implication of the program to include some forms of working capital loans. The Small Business Financing Program, aimed at helping financially troubled businesses lower their cost of debt, is being extended to December 31, 1994.
The revitalization of our manufacturing industry is of a high priority and this process will be helped by the introduction of an investment tax credit on the purchase of machinery and equipment. This two-year program will lower cost and promote investment in modernization and technology. Farge amounts of capital from Canadians in all walks of life are presently held in RRSPs and RRIFs. In order to direct some of these funds to investment in small businesses the rules for self-directed RRSPs and RRIFs are being simplified together with the reporting requirements of trustees of these types of plans. The simplified regulations should result in an increased flow of capital to small businesses which is what the hon. member is looking for.
December 3, 1992
The statement gives recognition to the importance of technology today by improving and simplifying R and D rules for small businesses. These will eliminate confusion and uncertainty among business persons and allow them to proceed with projects knowing that their expenditures do indeed qualify for tax credits and other benefits.
We will be mentioning in passing other initiatives in the economic statement designed to help small business continue in its vital role, improvements to the industrial research program, a reduction of the regulatory burden and a holiday from unemployment insurance premiums for new employees of small businesses.
Topic: PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic: SMALL BUSINESS