10/01/2013 10:06 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Liberals want to boost recording industry in Nova Scotia with new tax credit

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia Liberals highlighted their promise to offer tax credits to the sound recording industry while the NDP said their commitment to have family purchases exempt from the harmonized sales tax would be expanded as the election campaign entered its final week Tuesday.

A promise to spend $750,000 annually for a new sound recording tax credit would help attract companies and artists from across Canada to work in the province, Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said.

Recording companies would get a 20-per-cent tax credit for money spent recording emerging Canadian artists, but the work would have to be done in Nova Scotia for artists to be eligible, McNeil said.

"We can grow this industry further and ensure more of the economic value and employment created by our musicians will remain in our province," he McNeil, adding that the idea follows up on one first proposed by Music Nova Scotia in 2002.

He also reiterated his commitment to extend a current tax credit for film and digital media to five years. It now runs year-to-year.

Estelle Jacquemard, general manager of video game developer Longtail Studios, said her company employs 45 people at its Halifax location. She said the current tax credit was key in getting her firm to set up in Nova Scotia.

"It helped us to attract good very high-skilled people and keep them here and to be competitive with India or Asia, for example," she said.

Premier Darrell Dexter said he would add items to a list of so-called family essentials that would be exempt from the HST in 2015 if the NDP government wins a second term. So far, the party is promising to drop the tax on cloth diaper services, strollers and car seats.

The party says the measure would see Nova Scotia consumers save $3.2 million on those items.

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie reiterated his promise to cut the number of district health authorities to three from 10, which the Tories say would save about $60 million. He said the savings would help improve patient care such as paying for insulin pumps for children and allow the government to hire more doctors and nurses.

The Tories are also promising incentives for doctors to practice in areas where there are physician shortages and to fund capital projects where communities have already raised funds.

The election is set for next Tuesday.