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Tories tout tax breaks for small business that died with budget

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper checks the oil on a marine engine as a mechanic looks on during a campaign stop in Regina on March 29, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are dangling the budget defeated by their opponents in front of voters Tuesday, reminding Canadians what measures were shelved when the Tory government was toppled.

The Conservatives have ripped a page from the now-defunct 2011 budget, promising a tax break for small businesses to expand and hire new employees.

Under the measure, roughly 525,000 small businesses would be eligible for a new temporary hiring credit that would reduce their collective 2011 payroll costs by about $165-million.

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The Tories are promising they would pass the break in their first budget if re-elected.

The credit, of up to $1,000, was a one-year measure, applied against a small employer's increase in 2011 EI premiums over 2010.

It would apply to employers whose total EI premiums were $10,000 or less in 2010.

"Small businesses are the engine of job creation in Canada and are indispensible in their role as job creators and innovators," Mr. Harper said at a boat showroom and repair shop in Regina Tuesday.

"As Canada emerges from a world-wide recession, it is essential that we do everything in our power to complete our economic recovery and ensure that more jobs are available to Canadians."

The pledge to revive the budget measures is being echoed by other Conservative candidates across the country Tuesday.

Small business entrepreneurs are a target group for the Tories who have consistently offered breaks for the sector during their five years in power.

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The Harper government was pulled down last Friday by the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois who passed a no-confidence motion in the Commons.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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