June 13th, 2022
While Canadians struggle to afford food, Liberals make things harder for workers
NDP Finance Critic Daniel Blaikie issued the following statement:
“Canadian families are struggling to pay their rent and afford groceries as the cost-of-living skyrockets. Instead of helping people take care of themselves and their families, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are clawing back Employment Insurance for who relied on the CERB to survive during the pandemic.
The Liberals are putting the squeeze on families who have been hard hit by the pandemic and lost their jobs due to business closures or downsizing. This is wrong. People who were struggling to get by should not be penalized for getting CERB after being told they were eligible.
What’s worse, while the Liberals make people who barely survived the financial impact of the pandemic pay back their benefits, they're refusing to hold big corporations accountable. Even though these huge corporations used the wage subsidy while three made huge profits and paid massive dividends to their rich shareholders.
This isn’t the first time the Liberals have chosen to target the most vulnerable people while letting the ultra-rich do what they want. The trend is clear.
They cut the Guaranteed Income Supplement for the most vulnerable seniors leaving low-income Canadians in a desperate situation until New Democrats forced them to reverse the cut. Recently, we learned that they cut the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for families struggling to feed their children. And now they’re going after people who desperately need their EI to make ends meet as the cost of living is stretching people’s budgets thin. It's clear whose side the Liberals are on. Rich companies that used the wage subsidy even though they were making profits and gave millions in dividends to their shareholders aren’t being asked to pay the money back. But this government doesn’t hesitate to make hardworking Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet pay back the CERB they needed.
New Democrats understand that things are difficult for Canadian families right now. Instead of targeting everyday people and demanding they pay back the money they needed to survive the pandemic, we are calling for a low-income CERB repayment amnesty and one-time boosts to the CCB and GST tax credit that will put $500-$1000 in the pockets of Canadians struggling the most with inflation.”