CERB benefits nurturing the idlers as economy struggles

The COVID-19 relief provided by PM Justin Trudeau’s government is being lauded by the Liberals and is being described as appropriate and necessary. Trudeau has said the government’s relief packages have put the country on a path that will allow its economy to thrive as soon as the virus is under control.

H o w e v e r , Trudeau’s financial packages are being misused, and it’s increasing the Canadian budget deficit. The financial packages announced have added another $10,000 to the debt of every Canadian. Earlier, Canada had a deficit of about $700 billion. During the Oct. 2019 election, economists had questioned the Trudeau government’s four-year performance, saying it had failed to deliver on its 2015 election promises. There was a deficit of about $20 billion after the first three years. The budget for the fourth year was promised to be balanced.

But in those four years, the Trudeau government had added another $100 billion to the country’s debt. Those were four perfect economic years in which the government’s tax revenue rose steadily. This was the time to lighten the burden of old debt. Critics have also pointed out that when the financial cycle turns — which often happens after 8-10 years — what will happen to the country? On hearing this, Trudeau’s followers scolded and ridiculed them. Some even argued that debt is not a bad thing and that Trudeau is investing in a future that will pay off. Now that COVID- 19 has engulfed the country, the Trudeau government is borrowing another $252 billion to provide relief. It is still only a matter of relief from the virus. After that, more financial resources will be needed to boost the economy — resources that the government will not have.

The Trudeau government’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is the most fraudulent program, and the government has neither the will nor the resources to stop it. According to media reports, the Canadian bureaucracy “red-flagged” two million applications out of a total of eight million CERB beneficiaries as suspicious, but the Trudeau government stopped them from taking action, instead immediately instructing that all applicants be sent $2,000. As of May 15, three rounds of $2,000 each have been made, and a fourth will begin in three weeks. The government is in no mood to make any changes to this flawed program. Instead, some ministers are telling the media that people sitting outside the country can also apply for this benefit. The truth is that thousands of people sitting outside the country are comfortably enjoying these benefits.

Even inside the country, there are millions of people who do not deserve it, including prisoners in jails. The government has even started saying that there is nothing to worry about if someone has taken something wrong. He/she will be asked to return as much as possible in 2021. The Trudeau government seems to want to forget and move on, but Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook to repay. In the future, taxes will increase, and government services will decrease. The CERB has also caused a shortage of workers. Eight million people are earning $2,000 while sitting at home, and many are doing cash work at the same time. The government doesn’t care, for the Liberals are securing votes.

The government’s program is so wasteful that if one works for $1,000 a month, they’ll get $2,000 for doing nothing. If one makes $1,001 a month, they cannot get a single dollar benefit. Make one dollar more by working hard and lose $2,000. This program is merely nurturing the idlers. The government is spending a total of $145 billion on CERB and also offering a 75 per cent Wage Benefit, but these costs could rise further. This is a massive amount for a country with a population of 38 million, especially when the country is already in debt. More voices are being raised daily that they or someone else has been left without a package. Give them something. Under the demand, Trudeau has also given a package to retired seniors at the cost of $2.5 billion. After the packages were distributed to seniors, some critics noted that there are two more categories left – seniors who are new to Canada and are not yet eligible for a pension, and international students.

The former does not yet receive Old Age Benefit or Guaranteed Income Supplement, but are all permanent residents, or many have become citizens. Another category that Trudeau still ignores, for now, are people who have crossed the border from the U.S. into Canada. People who have crossed over after Mar. 15, 2020, must also get a small package, so that passing over into Canada will be a memorable one for them too!

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora

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