Provincial budget boosts BC tech

The British Columbia Technology Industries Association (BC TIA),this week, congratulated the province of for delivering a budgetthat reflects their solid commitment to the continued growth andprosperity of B.C.’s technology industry.

This budget will provide the fuel needed to drive tomorrow’seconomy today and continue on our journey to establish B.C. as aregion of choice for the technology industry to live, work, andinvest, according to the industry group.

The announcement of an immediate exemption on PST for labourcharges applied to the installation, modification, repair ormaintenance of taxable computer software is great news for B.C.’stechnology industries, BC TIA stated in a release.

Computer software services account for a significant percentageof the provinces annual technology revenue, they said. The PSTexemption will provide B.C.’s software companies a competitiveadvantage over other jurisdictions when marketing their products onthe global stage.

“We applaud the government for their announcement of a new $90million, three-year skills training tax credit program forbusiness,” said Rob Cruickshank, president of BC TIA. “Skillsshortage is an issue that plague’s B.C.’s technology companies.Allowing industry to develop and implement the solutions that bestaddress their skills shortage issues are the right thing todo.”

Cruickshank said he looked forward to working with our members andthe government to develop and execute this program.

An increase in the Venture Capital Program from $20 million to$25 million annually was also highlighted. This increase translatesinto an additional $17 million in equity capital that can be raisedeach year to stimulate the continued growth and development of theB.C. tech industry.

“The $50 million endowment fund for research in sciences andengineering for Natural Resources and Applied Science is greatnews,” said Cruickshank. “Technology is pervasive in today’s worldregardless of the sector or industry. Core research in science andengineering is essential to the continued growth of B.C.’s economicdevelopment and increased productivity.”

The 2006 Budget confirms the government’s commitment to thegrowth of B.C.’s technology industries and the opportunity that aglobal, knowledge-based economy presents to this province, BC TIAsaid as the voice of B.C.’s technology industries. “The BC TIA willcontinue to work with all sectors of technology and the governmentto further this commitment.”

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