OTTAWA EXTENDS CERB 8-WKS, PBO CRITICAL OF FEDERAL COVID-19 SPENDING

Jun 16, 2020

By Bob Komsic

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As expected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will continue through August.
“We will be extending eligibility for the CERB by eight-weeks.  So if you’ve been getting the CERB and you still can’t work because you’re unable to find a job or it’s just not possible, you will keep getting that $2,000-a-month,” Trudeau said.
The extension has been a demand from the NDP in exchange for support in an upcoming confidence vote.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary budget officer says new government spending estimates do not provide a complete picture of how much the Trudeau Liberals will spend on pandemic-related assistance.
The estimates detail roughly $81-billion in already approved spending, and approximately an additional $6-billion in measures MPs are set to vote on Wednesday.
But PBO Yves Giroux says a number of measures promised by the government are not included because they do not come out of what’s known as the ”consolidated revenue fund.”
Left out are details on the $45-billion wage subsidy program, and the loan program to small and medium-sized businesses that’ll open applications Friday to a wider number of companies.
The parliamentary budget watchdog warns it’ll be hard to get answers about the estimates from federal officials since politicians will only debate the estimates for four hours under a deal agreed to last month by most parties.
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