OTTAWA— Canada ’ s official fiscal watchdog says the federal income subsidy program might price $14 billion less than the federal government predicted.

A brand new report today by Parliamentary Budget Office analyst Bill Segel-Brown estimates subsidizing income for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic will cost $67. 9 billion through the finish of December.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau estimated in his Come july 1st fiscal report it would price $82. 3 billion.

Segel-Brown says that will figure was prudent during the time because of economic uncertainty plus ongoing work to revise the program’ s guidelines.

The North america Emergency Wage Subsidy promotes employers to keep their employees on the payroll even as function slows because of the pandemic simply by offering to cover as much as seventy five percent of wages.

The program was initially only for three months but it has considering that been extended and the quantity of the subsidy now runs from 10 percent to seventy five percent depending on how much the company’ s revenues have got dropped each month.

The report also desires another $500 million within foregone payroll contributions like employment insurance, but the expenses are offset by a good expected $9. 1 billion dollars in corporate taxes within the wage subsidy.

That would mean the ultimate price of the program could be around $59. 2 billion.

More than 285, 000 companies have been approved for the subsidy as of Aug. 9, plus Ottawa has paid out $26. 5 billion to date. Greater than 800, 000 employees have experienced their wages subsidized.

The maximum weekly advantage in the first four weeks was $847. That quantity will get smaller for most companies each month, until it strikes $226 in November. Several companies whose revenues are usually most affected by the financial shutdowns can apply for a top-up that could increase the amount.