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October 18th, 2018

NDP Calls for Hard Cap on Credit Card Transaction Fees for Small Businesses

OTTAWA – In the midst of Small Business Week, the NDP is pushing for some much needed relief for small businesses by placing a hard cap on the transaction fees merchants are charged when customers pay with their credit cards. The fees in Canada, which are among the highest in the world, cost merchants $4 billion every year, money that goes to the banks that issue the credit cards.

“Big banks have been gouging Canadian small businesses for decades, but successive Conservative and Liberal governments have failed to take the necessary steps to protect our job creators,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “That’s why the NDP is calling for a hard cap of 1% that will give our small businesses a fair shot and an opportunity to grow.”

Unlike debit card merchant fees, which are set at a flat rate of a few cents per transaction no matter the size, merchant fees for credit cards are a percentage of each purchase and have fluctuated over the years between 1.69% and 2.39% depending on the card. Last week, Liberal MP Linda Lapointe failed to show up for debate on her Bill C-236 to regulate these merchant fees, after delaying debate more than 10 times in 2 years – thereby killing the legislation many retailers and business owners were waiting for. Instead, the Liberal government chose to bring in a non-binding, voluntary agreement.

“A permanent cap of 1% is a concrete measure that would save Canadian small and medium sized businesses over a billion dollars every year,” said NDP Small Business Critic, Gord Johns. “Canadian businesses are done waiting for this government to act. It’s time to boost consumer buying power, inject much-need resources into our local economies, and help create jobs in every community from coast to coast to coast!”