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MPs to quiz Morneau on COVID-19 bailout as PBO releases new estimates

Last Updated Apr 2, 2020 at 8:24 am PDT

FILE -- Former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, March 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Federal measures to help low-income Canadians, families, seniors to cost more than $8-billion

Budget officer Yves Giroux says a special GST credit payment to 13.2 million people will cost $5.67 billion

Finance minister to answer questions about federal COVID-19 spending measures from House of Commons finance committee

OTTAWA — Parliament’s spending watchdog says three federal measures to help low-income earners, families and seniors weather the economic shock from COVID-19 will cost over $8 billion.

The reports Thursday morning from budget officer Yves Giroux says a special GST credit payment to 13.2 million people will cost $5.67 billion.

A special top-up to the Canada Child Benefit in May to 3.4 million recipients will cost $1.9 billion, Giroux says, with the average payment estimated at $556.

And reducing by 25 per cent the amount seniors have to withdraw this year from registered retirement income funds will cost $506.5 million, the budget officer says.

The reports Thursday morning come hours before Finance Minister Bill Morneau is to answer questions about federal COVID-19 spending measures from the House of Commons finance committee.

The federal government’s economic response package to date is valued at more than $250 billion with half of that being direct financial aid for workers and businesses.