The majority of Canadian residents who received the Federal Canada Recovery Benefit were ongoing or repeat recipients of the now-terminated assistance package, internal government analysis reveals.
The Employment and Social Development Canada evaluation found that at the start of June, 1.5 million, or about 75 percent of the 1.8 million unique beneficiaries of the benefit, were continuing or repeat beneficiaries.
Among them, some 627,000 beneficiaries who have applied for and received the allowance for months in a row, never taking a break.
The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the briefing note to the department’s senior official under the Access to Information Act.
Experts who reviewed the document suggested that the analysis hinted at the level of need for the income support program, which ended over the weekend.
As of October 10, the CRB had paid just over $ 27 billion to nearly 2.2 million applicants since its launch in late September 2020, but had seen a steady decline in demand from its peak of 1.22. million recipients in January.
At the end of the day, there were about 800,000 payment-dependent people who only had 48 hours to adjust their finances when the Liberals announced a change to the benefit program on Thursday.
âWorkers need the Canadian stimulus benefits to pay their rent and not lose their homes. Many workers can only find part-time work and don’t get enough shifts to make ends meet. The pandemic is not over, âDeena Ladd, executive director of the Workers Action Center in Toronto, wrote on Sunday in a tweet calling on the Liberals to restore the benefit.
The government said the CRB was no longer needed because the Canadian economy was doing better than a few months ago, including a labor market that had recouped the three million jobs lost at the start of the pandemic Last year.
Likewise, said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, the wage subsidy was no longer needed as it offered expanded credit for companies hiring new workers.
Jennifer Robson, associate professor of political management at Carleton University in Ottawa, said the Liberals’ announcement did not signal the need for retraining or job search services to help the unemployed.
âThe hiring credit could, in theory, help certain types of employers hire more staff, but nothing here suggests that it will do much in the short term to help CRB users,â Robson wrote in an e-mail. -mail.
In their analysis, federal officials noted that the number of new CRC applicants declined as of mid-January. The document also indicates that more than 600,000 beneficiaries who were paid during the first four months of the life of the CRB were no longer entitled to benefits at the beginning of June.
A similar trend was seen among EI claimants, “indicating that Canadians are returning to work regularly,” officials wrote, adding that EI claims for sales and employment jobs. services “have not yet recovered as quickly as other professions”.
CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a weekend analysis that there is now a risk that workers supported by the wage subsidy or CRB will “join the ranks of job seekers.” and affect progress in reducing the national unemployment rate.
In place of the CRB, the Liberals introduced a revised benefit of $ 300 per week that would only go to workers who lose their jobs or income due to a government-ordered foreclosure.
In a TV interview aired on Sunday, Employment Secretary Carla Qualtrough told CTV question period that the benefit would only go to those affected by a full lockdown, not tightened restrictions that limited the capacity of restaurants, for example.
“I’m not sure if there are any closings going on right now, in which case this is an effective CRB shutdown with no additional benefits,” said David Macdonald, senior economist at the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.
Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
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