The Quebec government is expected to give a big broom to the Société des alcools (SAQ), to the revenue Agency in the stream of subsidies to firms, the commission on the review of government programs and chaired by the ex-minister Lucienne Robillard.
The treasury Board president Martin Coiteux, in front of the liberal members of parliament met behind closed doors yesterday, was brushed in broad strokes a picture of the second report of the Commission which shall be made public next week after a year of work, representing 2 million dollar budget.
First of all, the government intends to make permanent the mechanism for review of programmes. An office will be created within the treasury Board and a new ministerial committee will be formed, which pérennisera the year. This reflection will also become essential that the law prohibiting deficits or contributions to the generations Fund. The issues of governance and the sustainability of the program review of occupy a prominent place in the report to be divided into several volumes.
SAQ: a model to reconsider
The Couillard government has received the document at the beginning of the summer. As was The Press, the Commission points to a serious lack of efficiency at the SAQ and recommends to reconsider the “business model”, namely, the monopoly enjoyed by the company is currently State. Without making a recommendation, it suggests ways to work around this lack of efficiency without increasing prices for consumers.
It is important that “the government protects its income,” insist the authors of the report. “It would be sufficient to replace the dividends by an increase in the specific tax on alcoholic beverages sold by the SAQ. This increase would not impact on the final sale price as it would replace the dividend paid to the shareholder. The government could also introduce a tax on the consumption rate particular to the alcohol, thus allowing the amount of the fee fluctuate depending on the price of the product sold”, continue the authors.
The figures identified by the commission Robillard are embarrassing for the corporation. Compared to those of other similar organizations, the administrative expenses of the SAQ are much higher. Thus, for the period 2010-2014, the SAQ swallows 21% of its net sales in administrative costs, the highest level with that of Newfoundland. For 2014, the LCBO (liquor control board of Ontario) asked 16% in administration costs; they accounted for 10% in British Columbia and 8% in several States. One does not question the relationship of work or the number employees, but the monopoly position of the SAQ is referred to as the source of the problem.
Revenu Quebec: a disturbing trend
Revenu Québec is also in the line of sight to the Commission. The agence québécoise costs more expensive to administer and collects less taxes year after year. The question poses a problem quickly policy. Without surrendering its autonomy, Quebec could transfer some of the collection activities of the federal corporate income tax, it was suggested.
The performance of the agency in quebec in jeopardy, because the administration costs are constantly increasing, and the prospects do not allow to predict reversal of this trend. As the federal Agency income, Quebec should require more of the directors of the tax department.
In 2010, Revenu Québec was better than the federal agency, but this difference in favour of it had melted quickly in 2013-2014. In terms of efficiency, Revenue Quebec is now on an equal footing with the federal agency in 2014. Revenue Canada should hone in the future, however. In recent years, the inland revenue quebec has spent more and more each year, the name of the fight against tax evasion, while Revenue Canada has reduced its expenditures, where an efficiency gain.
Broom in the help
The financial assistance programs of all flours offered by Quebec and deserve as a broom to put an end to duplication. It is almost 1 billion ($900 million) that the government distributes each year to companies, in direct or indirect aid.
The money passes through a skein of 84 programs administered by 12 different ministries. If one adds to this the indirect support, it is more than 500 organizations that are scattered about the line of fire. The opportunities of overlap are numerous, not to mention that programs can survive even if their reason for being is no longer obvious. Already the ministry of Economy, the minister responsible, Jacques Daoust, has initiated a 180-degree turn on the assistance to enterprises: case of equity participation, are increasingly replacing grants.