By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on January 10, 2020.
Reducing red tape
in order to boost productivity is a key focus of government
As we begin a new year and a new decade, I, like many others, sit down and set goals and priorities for the year and years ahead. What should I aim to achieve as an individual and as your representative for Lethbridge-East? What can I control, and what is outside my sphere of influence?
Having pondered these questions, I have resolved to move ahead on at least two initiatives:
1. Further independent study of economics and economic policies of government; and,
2. Better presentation of the principals and underlying beliefs for arguments put forward in the Legislature.
As I began this study over the holidays, I learned that the primary determinant of a population’s standard of living is productivity. More than any other single factor, the increased ability to produce goods and services per hour of worker activity leads to an increased standard of living. A higher standard of living would be a very worthy achievement for anyone living in Alberta, so what can I do to help increase that productivity or reduce constrictions to that productivity?
I believe this is one of the reasons why our government has chosen to focus so strongly on red-tape reduction. Eliminating red tape (areas where the government has made it more difficult to produce goods and services without cause) will make it faster and easier for individuals and businesses to get their goods to market, while also reducing costs, an added benefit for consumers.
Incentive is another significant part of the equation. Governments often impact incentive by trying for a “bigger piece of the pie,” and unintentionally becoming a DIS-incentive to business. It may seem counter intuitive at times, but governments often chase investment away and lose tax revenue when they increase tax rates. Using the incentives of profit and co-operation to attract investment, while boosting our Alberta economy, are the underlying principals behind the Job Creation Tax Cut. This benefit to investors took another step forward on Jan. 1, reducing the corporate tax rate from 11 to 10 per cent.
One last item that contributes significantly to productivity is technology. Innovation, skills and the best tools and processes available are all critical factors in our ability to produce anything well. This is why we chose to fund our Technology, Innovation and Emission Reduction program through the large emitters and opted-in facilities carbon tax in Bill 19. Not only will this investment drive research and ideas forward to make us more productive, but it will also further our commitment to the highest levels of environmental standards in our oil and gas industry.
As I look forward to the year ahead, I see a lot of work to do, a lot to learn, and many important issues to represent. I truly have my work cut out for me to “learn and to do” my goals. I also hope all of you have a happy, successful and prosperous new year!
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.