OTTAWA – Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre and Shadow Minister for Small Business James Cumming today called on the Trudeau government to use this week’s economic ‘snapshot’ to change the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) so workers can earn higher wages, to fully fund the Auditor General, and to be transparent about the size of the debt and deficit.
Currently, the government kicks workers off the CERB as soon as they earn more than $1,000 a month, effectively banning many from gradually returning to work.
Conservatives believe it should always pay to work. That is why we have proposed the Back to Work Bonus, a gradually phased out CERB top-up for workers who make between $1,000 and $5,000 as businesses reopen. Under our plan, Canadians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic and who currently receive the CERB will continue to receive their full $2,000.
The government has also thus far refused to tell Canadians the size of the deficit and debt and have left no fiscal anchors in place.
Furthermore, current and past Auditor Generals have said their office is underfunded by more than $11 million a year, preventing much needed scrutiny of hundreds of billions of dollars in new government spending. Oversight is essential. Just last week, Justin Trudeau handed almost a billion dollars to a charity with close ties to his family and the Liberal Party. Now he’s under investigation for the third time in three years by the Ethics Commissioner.
Conservatives are calling on the government to:
- Implement the Back to Work Bonus so workers can earn higher wages as businesses reopen;
- Fully fund the Auditor General, so she can follow the money; and
- Publish the size of the debt and deficit.
“Let’s make government accountable, spending responsible and workers better off. Conservatives have practical proposals to do it. It is time for the government to follow them,” said MP Pierre Poilievre.
“Taxpayers deserve to know how much the government is borrowing and where that money is going. Workers deserve support as they head back to work. Conservatives stand ready to work with the government to make it happen,” added MP James Cumming.