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The Trudeau Liberals potentially wasted up to $22 billion dollars of their $80 billion pandemic health spending due to a lack of "adequate targeting" of those in need, a new study by the Fraser Institute claims.
“Our research shows that billions are being borrowed to finance transfers to people whose need is at least questionable, and this at a time when Ottawa is running historic deficits,” said Jason Clemens, Executive Vice President at the Fraser Institute.
“That means more than one-in-four dollars (27.4 per cent) of the COVID-related spending analyzed is potentially being wasted due to a lack of targeting,” Clements continued.
The most wasted spending, of course, came in the form of the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), along with one-time payments such as the Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Canada Child Benefits being other "potential" suspects.
The study says that up to $11.8 billion could have been wasted on youth between the ages of 15 to 24 who live with parents earning over $100,000, yet qualified for the CERB by earning over $5,000 in 2019.
"In almost every case, the benefits provided to these young people—almost 1 million of them—under CERB exceeds their monthly earnings in 2019," the study claims.
Other wasted expenditures the study outlines include:
• Spouses eligible for CERB: $7.0 billion for an estimated 581,000 spouses eligible for CERB who earned between $5,000 and $23,999 in 2019 and are living in families with at least $100,000 in household income.
• Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB): $1.6 billion for an estimated 324,900 students aged 18 to 24 who are eligible for CESB while living with their parents in households with at least $100,000 income.
• One-time payment to seniors: $1.4 billion was sent to seniors not eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is a program specifically targeted to low-income seniors.
• One-time top-up to the Canada Child Benefit: $503.5 million, or one-in-four dollars of the CCB top-up, is estimated to have gone to families with household incomes of at least $100,000 in 2019.
“Stabilizing peoples’ income during a recession is sound economic policy, but the money should go to people who are actually in need, and it should replace lost income, not make people better off than they were before the recession,” said Clemens.