High Inflation | Eric Girard confirms a financial push from Quebec in the fall

(Quebec) Inflation rates continue to rise, more than expected, increasing pressure on the Legault government to put a fresh check in Quebecers’ wallets in the coming months.

Posted at 3:23pm

Jocelyn Richer
The Canadian Press

In March, Treasury Secretary Eric Girard forecast an inflation rate of 4.7% in 2022, a forecast that was revised upwards on Thursday and now sets the bar at 6%, bad news for consumers with more worries about what comes next .

In order to avoid public dissatisfaction, especially with the approach of the election campaign, Minister Girard on Thursday reaffirmed the government’s intention to give taxpayers a new financial boost and specified his game plan.

At a press conference, he suggested that the amount paid to taxpayers would be known during the campaign, so somewhere in September, and that the check (or tax credit) would be paid in November, about a month after the election-election CAQ government.

“I think that our intentions will be clarified in the election campaign,” said the minister, adding that “there will be an election in October and the new government, the new finance minister, will have to present an updated budget day. Usually, the update comes in the autumn a tax gesture.” The economic update is always released in November and the budget in March.

Mr. Girard declined to say which formula Quebec would then prefer: either a fixed amount ($500) to be sent to all taxpayers earning less than $100,000, like last time, or an amount that is financially paid to a few target customers is vulnerable.

“With the data we have we have data up to April, in terms of inflation there will be a May release by the end of June, it seems inflation will be closer to 6% than 5%” , he said, acknowledging that the figure circulating in the spring was “too low”.

As for the amount to be paid, it is still too early to set it, as the data available to determine the actual inflation rate for the current year is not available.

Last fall, the Legault administration announced a check for low-income people ranging from $200 to $270. Almost 3.3 million Quebecers have received it.

Then, in his last household in March, he offered a $500 check to all taxpayers with a net income of less than $100,000, or 94% of the population. This measure has eaten a hole of 3 billion in public finances.

At his party’s last convention, Prime Minister François Legault pledged not to forget “Quebec’s wallets”, which are being hit by runaway inflation.

“A CAQ government will not let you down in the face of inflation and will continue to give you the means to weather it,” he promised in late May, also dangling tax cuts.

Since then, opposition parties have accused him of wanting to “buy” votes and compared him to ex-Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis.

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