Phase out CERB payments, improve COVID-19 spending transparency, Senate report says

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By Staff The Canadian Press

Posted July 14, 2020 10:21 am

Updated July 14, 2020 10:24 am

2:02 The Canada Emergency Response Benefit may be a disincentive for some employees to return to the job

Some business owners trying to survive the pandemic are now trying to overcome the impact of CERB. Nadia Stewart explains.

The Senate’s finance committee says the Trudeau Liberals need to tell people very soon what they will do for those who max out a key federal COVID-19 benefit in the fall without jobs to go back to.

The $500-a-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit is set to run out in September for millions of workers who have seen their incomes shrink or dry up entirely.

The committee’s report recommends the government provide declining CERB payments as incomes rise, rather than applying the current strict cut-off.

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Senators are also calling on the Liberals to consider a guaranteed income program to make sure all Canadians have the means to meet their basic needs.

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1:47 Could Canada implement universal basic income?

Could Canada implement universal basic income?

The recommendations are among several the committee makes in its review out today of the Liberals’ emergency aid programs.

Underlying many of the recommendations is a concern from the committee about what it says is a need to address a “lack of accountability and transparency” in federal spending.

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