OTTAWA – expanding both sick and caregiver benefits next spring – as proposed in Bill C-2 – will cost the government about $873.6 million, parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) estimates.
new cost report Published Tuesday, extending the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) to 28 weeks, or May 7, 2022, and extending the claim period from four to six weeks would fetch a price tag of $507 million.
Meanwhile, extending the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by the same time frame and extending the claim period from 42 to 44 weeks would cost $366.6 million.
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Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland formally introduced the new “targeted” pandemic aid bill, boosting some benefits and revamping others.
Freeland said he expects this to be the last round of expansion.
“I view this legislation as the final step in our COVID-19 support programmes. This is what I really hope and really believe is the ultimate pivot,” she said on Nov.
Members of parliament have begun debating the proposed law – with liberals hoping it will be passed before the House opens for the holidays on December 17.
The PBO also spent the expected support that will flow through the new tourism and hospitality recovery program and the toughest business recovery program.
The office estimates that an additional $676 million in subsidy will be paid in addition to the amount already approved. Of that amount, it is expected that $134 million will flow through the tourism and hospitality recovery program and $542 will flow through the toughest business recovery program.
“With this expansion, we expect a gross cost of [Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy] Should be $8.3 billion. This represents a net cost to the federal government of $7.2 billion after accounting for corporate income tax recovery,” the report reads.
CRSB provides income support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are unable to work because they are ill with COVID-19 or wish to self-isolate. Eligible applicants can receive up to $500 for a period of one week.
CRCB provides income support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are unable to work because they are caring for a child under the age of 12 or a family member in need of supervised care. Eligible applicants can receive up to $500 for a period of one week.
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program applies to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants with subsidy rates of up to 75 percent, while the hardest-hit Business Recovery Program applies to other businesses that have suffered “profound losses”. . Subsidy rate up to 50 percent.
To qualify for the former, businesses must show a 12-month revenue loss of at least 40 percent and a current month’s revenue decline of the same amount. For the latter, businesses will have to show a 12-month revenue loss of at least 50 percent and the current month’s revenue decline of the same amount.
The government is also proposing a Canada worker lockdown benefit in place of the popular Canada response benefit. It is geared towards people whose work is directly affected by the lockdown and will provide benefits of $300 per week. The PBO did not personally fund the program.