Strategy

The CEO Poll: Business leaders not thrilled with G20

CEOs question expense, usefulness of G8 and G20 summits in Toronto.

Business leaders give the federal mini-budget high marks.

Canadian CEOs want to see world leaders focus on greater prudence in government spending at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in Ontario. The CEOs identified a number of priorities for the meeting in a recent web poll conducted by COMPAS Inc.

Nearly 90% of respondents identified government spending as the most important issue for discussion. Many economists, politicians and business leaders are concerned about the massive bailout programs governments in developed nations implemented to combat the recession.

The controversial proposed tax on banks should also be on the agenda, according to the respondents. More than two-thirds of the business leaders said ‘preventing global taxes’ should be a priority. ‘It is very wrong to tax banks that have practiced good fiscal responsibility,’ wrote one panelist.

At least one respondent felt the process of global summits is unlikely to yield meaningful results. ‘Trying to get consensus from different countries on important matters is like pushing a piece of string uphill,’ wrote the CEO.

Others couldn’t help but comment on the estimated $1 billion the government will spend on security for the events: ‘Shouldn’t the Canadian government spend this huge amount of money to reduce the Canadian budget deficit?’

‘Countries that live beyond their means will face the consequences, and they need to cut expenses or raise taxes to survive,’ wrote one respondent.

The CEOs also believe that greater transparency in transactions among financial institutions is another important issue discussion, followed by efforts to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.