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Saskatchewan building permits hit a national low
In light of a recent Stats Canada report showing a national worst 41 per cent drop in the number of residential building permits in Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan NDP is renewing its call to have the provincial sales tax lifted on construction labour and materials for new homes.
“Many of those workers and I've watched it first hand in some cases, go out to find employment, can't find any and they are forced to look elsewhere and forced out of the province far too often,” NDP Finance Critic, Trent Wotherspoon said. “Leaving an empty house, a family on the move and a for sale sign on the house only making economic matters worse."
“That argument doesn't hold a lot of water as Alberta has no PST at all so if that were the case why would Alberta have larger drops?" Minister of Trade and Export Development, Jeremy Harrison said, adding the blame falls on the federal government’s mortgage stress test.
He refutes the notion that the PST is contributing to this decline, claiming the month over month numbers shows Alberta having a steeper decline than Saskatchewan, and there is no such tax in that province.
“It would create more jobs and more income and more activity on the building side so we believe it would have a significant impact and it would be fairly significant fairly quickly." Regina based residential developer, Curt Keil of Pacesetter homes said.
While the stress test has factored in to a two decade low for residential building permits, he believes scrapping the PST would help turn things around.
The province has communicated no plans to lift the PST at this time.