It was nearly two years ago that Finance Minister Blll Morneau warned Canadians that they should get used to “job churn,” or short-term employment and several career changes throughout somebody’s working life.
You can read more in this story by Canadian Press for CTV News.
Morneau, who will likely never have to worry about paying the bills, seems resigned to that scenario and he’s trying to convince those who do have to worry about paying the bills that they should get used to it.
It’s tough to argue with him for Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque these days. Part time or temporary work with no benefits or pension is becoming more prevalent as the government worries about an aging workforce and not having enough Canadians to fill these precarious positions.
Of course, going forward, it’s tough to predict how automation and technology will contribute to eliminating humans from the workforce. We know that’s coming, but the mystery is to what extent?
Call it entrepreneurship or call it survival instinct as those preferring to take control of their own destinies often turn to starting their own businesses that, apparently, have come under suspicion by the federal government, which seemingly believes everybody who incorporates is rich and not paying their fair share of taxes.
For instance, proposed tax reforms deal with “income sprinking” that allows business owners to distribute money among family members, a move that would allow that cash to be taxed at a lower rate.
This particular reform is aimed at professionals who pay family members who contribute little, if anything, to a business, but what about the mom and pop business – a golf course, driving range or golf shop for purposes of this blog – in which spouses and children actually are integral participants in an operation?
The kids, for example, may be saving the money they do make for college or university, or making a few bucks while they learn the ropes in a business they might inherit one day, perhaps a wish by the parents that their children don’t get caught at the dead end of precarious, part-time work.
Morneau says he plans a “reasonableness” test to determine how much family members actually contribute to a business, but that promise is short on details with more and more turning to small businesses, not only in an ownership role, but also for employment.
You can read more about the tax reforms in this story from CBC News, but the current GNN Poll asks if the tax reforms currently being proposed by the federal government unfairly penalizes golf businesses, 85 per cent of respondents voted yes, while only 15 per cent said no, as of this writing.
CBC’s Rick Mercer, in one of his rants, says the latest tax reforms are an example of a new government in power losing perspective once it’s settled in by making small business, in general, the boogie man.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already stated the government has no plans to back off these tax reforms, which seem like piling on considering extra costs associated with other costs for small business owners associated with enhanced CPP and carbon taxes.
It doesn’t stop at the federal level as provinces such as Alberta and Ontario, they’ve instituted $15-an-hour minimum wages, with British Columbia and likely other provinces soon to come on board.
This comes despite the concern of small business owners that it will lead to reduced hours for minimum wage workers and increased prices for consumers. In golf, already an industry in which affordability is an issue, both outcomes are big deals.
Whether it’s federal or provincial or even municipal doesn’t matter, so save the finger pointing. It’s still added cost and the finger being shown to entrepreneurs is the middle one.
Governments either truly believe that small business owners are the bad guys, or they’re using those same small businesses as a decoy in showing the public that they’re going after the wealthy.
Precarious employment will get even more precarious as small businesses fall into that precarious situation as well, which could be why they are telling us to get used to “job churn” going forward.