EconomyTop News

Canada firms unenthusiastic about complex government wage subsidy program: minister

2 Mins read
imageEconomy18 hours ago (May 17, 2020 12:45PM ET)

(C) Reuters. Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough speaks during a sitting of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian firms are showing less interest than expected in a government wage subsidy program to help them survive the coronavirus crisis because the application process is complex, a government minister said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on March 30 that businesses able to show their revenues had dropped by 30% because of the outbreak could apply for the subsidy to help retain their workers amid massive shutdowns.

Although the Liberal government budgeted C$73 billion on the subsidy – just under half the C$152 billion in total direct spending on measures to dull the pain of the crisis – official data last week showed only C$3.4 billion had been dispensed.

“(The pickup) has been slower than expected,” Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough told CTV.

“I think businesses are having to put a lot of time and effort into their applications because you have to dig in to your payrolls – who earned what and when?” she said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Officials are looking at ways to streamline the process of providing data, she added.

Trudeau said on Friday the subsidy would be extended by 12 weeks until the end of August and suggested the threshold for revenue loss might be dropped to below 30% to encourage more firms to apply.

Air Canada said on Friday it would cut its workforce by up to 60%. Asked why the firm had not used the wage subsidy instead of issuing layoffs, a representative said normal traffic levels would not be returning anytime soon.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined to say how much more Ottawa has budgeted to cover the extension.

“I think the uptake is going to pick up. I don’t think that there’s a programmatic problem … it’s more a challenge to provide the data to the government,” said Qualtrough.

Ottawa is also promising unemployed Canadians up to C$2,000 a month under a separate program.

Most of Canada’s 10 provinces have slowly started reopening their economies as public health agency data show the outbreak is slowing significantly.

The total death toll edged up by 1.9% to 5,702 on Sunday, one of the smallest day-on-day increases.

Canada firms unenthusiastic about complex government wage subsidy program: minister

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Related posts
Market OverviewTop News

Jewish group slams Polish public TV for 'hateful' role in presidential race

2 Mins read
World31 minutes ago (Jul 10, 2020 10:27AM ET) 2/2 (C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski holds election event in Ciechanow…
Market OverviewTop News

EU travel unity unravels into confusion of border controls

2 Mins read
World32 minutes ago (Jul 10, 2020 10:25AM ET) 3/3 (C) Reuters. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Rome 2/3 By Philip Blenkinsop…
Market OverviewTop News

Turkish court paves way to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque

3 Mins read
World7 minutes ago (Jul 10, 2020 10:51AM ET) 5/5 (C) Reuters. A woman gestures in front of the Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya,…
Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *