Winnipeg's news outlets collectively deserve a fat raspberry for their fawning coverage of the NDP's announcement of the elimination of Manitoba's small business tax.

They were spun like tops and, to this day. don't know it.

In a nutshell:

* The NDP announced they were reducing the tax on companies that make $400,000 in profits or less to zero.

* They held a news conference in an Osborne Village cupcake shop whose owner, Derrick Godfrey, said he would save $10,000.

* “This move is about supporting entrepreneurship. It allows small businesses to keep more of their profits and reinvest in their companies, their employees and their communities," said Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

Let's see -- the hard-Left government of unelected Premier Greg Selinger cuts taxes, gives a whack of cash back to a businessman, and is embraced with hugs and kisses by the small business lobby.

What could be wrong with that?

Global News tripped over the hustle but didn't realize it.

They reported that "away from the glitzy photo op" the owner of the Cupcake Corner Godfrey admits the government doesn't make running his business "a piece of cake." ... "with the new tax cut, his yearly savings will be closer to $3,000, rather than the $10,000 he said earlier."

Say what? The saving to this business owner will be less than a third of what the NDP said it would be?
You might think it would be worth examining why the NDP was lying, but that's so Old School.

It took us a day to get some answers, thanks to blogger Brian Gilchrist at Things That Need To Be Said.

The small business tax rate was 1 percent. At a top base of $400,000, the MOST anyone could save is $4,000.

CTV news dutifully regurgitated the government spin right at the top of their story.

"Businesses in Manitoba will save a total of more than $422 million annually when the tax measures are combined with tax cuts previously announced by the government."

The government's intention is to fool the public into believing the elimination of the small business tax will save save business $422 million a year. The real figure was buried deep, deep in the CTV story---$9.5 million.

Instead of depending on the NDP's new cheerleaders, the CFIB, the MSM reporters could have provided some context to the tax announcement by finding their own sources --- easily available through a Google search.

Say.... Courtney Hirota, Vice President Manitoba-Saskatchewan for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association who addressed this very point in her reaction to the Throne Speech where it was first announced.

"The province holds up the elimination of the Small Business Tax as the solution to every business owner's challenges. But in the restaurant industry, where 30 cents of every dollar goes directly to labour costs, the Small Business Tax is a drop in the bucket," she said.

The government legislated increase in minimum wage (50 cents an hour) cost Manitoba's restaurant owners alone an estimated $16 million. A similar increase was introduced in 2009 with two 25-cent-an-hour hikes.

So the NDP burden small business with $32 million in costs and return $9.5 million in taxes. Whoopee.

The CRFA says the restaurant industry is one of the top five private sector employers directly employed more than 38,000 people in Manitoba. More than half of those employees are young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

The latest unemployment figures were released Friday, indicating Manitoba had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.1 percent.

Statistics Canada said the drop in the unemployment rate in Canada was not because the country created jobs, but because 43,600 job-seekers dropped out of the job market, mostly people in the 15-24 age group--- the ones being priced out of entry level jobs.