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Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for another six weeks: finance minister

Businesses hoping to apply for Canada’s 75 per cent wage will have to wait at least six weeks to get the money, according to Finance Minister Bill Morneau. At a news conference this afternoon Morneau said the funding would flow to the business through their online CRA account, once the employer had provided proof that their revenue had dropped by a minimum of 30% from March 2020 over March 2019. As of this posting there were still no details on the CRA website.

Morneau unveiled more details about the wage subsidy that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced, and then updated, in recent days.

The wage subsidy will provide 75 per cent of each employee’s salary for business – of any size – that has lost at least 30 per cent of its gross revenue since this time last year, Morneau said. Companies will have to reapply every month and Morneau said there will be “severe” consequences for anyone who tries to take advantage of the system.

The subsidy will apply to the first $58,700 of each employee’s salary and provide up to $847 per week.

Businesses will be able to apply through a Canada Revenue Agency portal “soon,” Morneau said, and money is supposed to begin flowing in six weeks.

The wage subsidy is expected to cost $71 billion. The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which provides $2,000 to workers who’ve lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, will cost an additional $24 billion. Altogether, Morneau said direct measures will cost around $105 billion.

“As a result of this… the deficit will go up,” Morneau said, noting this equals to about five per cent of the country’s GDP.

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