CTA continues push for payroll tax support, driver meal deductions

OTTAWA, Ont. - The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) continued its call yesterday for government help with payroll taxes and truck driver meal costs, during an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. "It is becoming increasingly clear that, as our industry continues to serve the supply chain and economy as required, it also faces unique and rapidly escalating challenges that requires tailored solutions to protect the stability of the supply chain during the Covid-19 crisis and into an eventual economic recovery period," said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. 

(Photo: iStock)

"Our sector needs additional, focused assistance above and beyond what the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides due to the nature of our sector and the critical relationship it has to the supply chain. Although the CEWS may work for many sectors, it does not stabilize the Canadian trucking industry."

The presentation focused on requests for a three-month deferral on payroll tax remittances, using an interest-free load that can be paid back within 12-18 months, and an adjusted meal allowance for truck drivers. The need for that support had been echoed in a joint request by Teamsters Canada, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), and Women's Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC). While CTA carriers reported an average 27% drop in revenue during surveys in late March and early April, the average decrease is now closer to 35%, he said, adding that 37% of fleets have "significant concerns" regarding operations over the next three months.

Sixty-three percent of surveyed fleets say customers have asked customers for payment deferrals or simply not paid for services.

But Laskowsi also praised the work of government officials that have offered other support during Covid-19, including issues around insurance coverage, licensing, permits, regulatory flexibility, essential service designations, driver treatment, keeping the border open to truck drivers, sectoral essential worker designation, and the sourcing of personal protective equipment.

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