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Reining in temporary pandemic programs a good first step

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2021/10/21

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the federal government for announcing temporary COVID-19 subsidies are ending.

“Reining in the COVID-19 spending is a good first step towards taking the $1-trillion federal debt seriously,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “Taxpayers need to see more details, but Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland deserves credit for acknowledging these subsidies were always supposed to be temporary.”

Today, Freeland announced the federal government would be winding down its existing broad-based COVID-19 subsidies and move towards more targeted and less expensive supports.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that COVID-19 spending cost $271 billion in 2020.

The federal government is more than $1 trillion in debt. That means that each Canadian’s average share of the debt is about $30,000. Even before the pandemic, the federal government increased its per-person spending to all-time highs in 2018.

“This extra spending was always sold to Canadians as temporary supports and taxpayers can’t afford for these programs to become permanent red ink,” said Terrazzano. “Reining in the temporary COVID-19 borrowing and making sure this spending is more targeted and less expensive is a good first step.”