Fifty-seven percent of the Canadian business community gave the budget a grade of “C” or worse, according to an Ernst & Young survey.

Forty-three percent gave it a “B” or higher.

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“The business community seems particularly divided on whether this budget will stimulate jobs and growth or the economy overall — which we know was a major focus for the government this time around,” says Gary Zed, tax markets leader, Ernst & Young.

Forty-four percent said they believe the budget would stimulate jobs and growth moderately, with a further 1% saying it would provide a strong stimulus. That’s in contrast to 46% who did not think the measures introduced would drive results in these still-struggling areas.

Those surveyed were similarly split on whether the budget struck the right balance between stimulating the economy and reducing government expenditures. While 36% agreed that it did (and a further 6% strongly agreed), 38% disagreed (and 13% strongly disagreed).

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Respondents were much more aligned in their views on whether the federal budget deficit will be eliminated by 2015, as projected in this budget. While 32% thought it likely or highly likely, a whopping 67% thought it unlikely, or highly unlikely. They were similarly vocal in their agreement that the recent federal budget trend toward lower corporate tax rates to provide an internationally competitive tax environment was good economic policy (75% agreed or strongly agreed; only 23% disagreed or strongly disagreed).

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Fifty-four percent agreed targeted tax relief and economic incentives to support specific industries were good economic policy (40% disagreed)
  • Public debt management emerged as the most pressing policy priority not adequately addressed by this budget (25%, followed by productivity/innovation and tax reform, 16% each respectively)

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