Publications

  • Latest Reports

    • Sep, 28 2020

      This report was prepared at the request of MP Rachel Blaney regarding the service standards of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) for processing disability benefit applications.

    • Sep, 10 2020

      This report summarizes a few of the key insights of the Personnel Expenditure Analysis Tool, PBO’s interactive online tool to explore overall government spending on personnel or focus on single departments.

    • Sep, 03 2020

      This report examines federal support through major transfers to provincial and territorial governments over 2008-09 to 2018-19.

    • Jul, 24 2020

      Kelly McCauley, MP for Edmonton West, requested that the PBO report on costs incurred from the federal Government’s policy of allowing employees to use pay code 699 – paid leave for other reasons for leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report presents the findings from 699 leave data provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat and supplementary data provided by the Canada Revenue Agency.

    • Jul, 16 2020

      The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) supports Parliament by providing economic and financial analysis for the purposes of raising the quality of parliamentary debate and promoting greater budget transparency and accountability.

      This report identifies key issues arising from the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Snapshot published on 8 July 2020.

    • Jul, 07 2020

      This report responds to a request from Senator Yuen Pau Woo to estimate the post-COVID cost of aguaranteed basic income (GBI) program, using parameters set out in Ontario’s basic income pilotproject. PBO presents three estimates based on scenarios that phase-out the benefit by $0.50, $0.25 and $0.15 for each dollar of employment income for the last six months of 2020-21. Also, this reportconsiders the provincial breakdown of the GBI cost. The total estimated gross cost of the defined GBI would range between $47.5 billion and $98.1 billion based on the three scenarios for the six-monthperiod from October 2020 to March 2021.  In addition, the report provides an estimate of the federaland provincial programs for low-income individuals and families, including many non-refundable andrefundable tax credits that could be replaced by the GBI program. PBO estimates the potential offsetsfrom repealing these measures would be just over $15 billion for the same period.

    • Jun, 25 2020

      Economic uncertainties generated by the public health response to COVID 19 and record low oil prices have disrupted financial markets. 
      Beginning in March, there was an abrupt global flight to cash, which began to constrain credit access for provincial governments, among other Canadian issuers of debt. Soon after, the Bank of Canada intervened to directly support liquidity in provincial governments’ funding markets by buying short-term and long-term debt, and by purchasing provincial debt on a temporary basis using term repurchase operations.
      The purpose of this report is to address questions from several parliamentarians about potential uptake of the new Bank of Canada (the Bank) provincial liquidity-support programs.
      The Bank’s liquidity support programs are designed to address temporary financing challenges. Overall, PBO estimates that provincial governments will have liquidity requirements of at least $195 billion by the end of 2021. This accounts for $67 billion in COVID-related provincial spending, $119 billion of provincial debt that must be refinanced in 2020 or 2021, and $9 billion in planned deficits (pre-COVID-19).
      On 31 May, the Bank held $59 billion in provincial debt.
      Relative to their provincial economies, the governments of Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador have the largest estimated liquidity needs until 2021.
      Long-term fiscal sustainability for provincial governments is determined by structural factors and would not be meaningfully affected by these liquidity-support programs.

    • Jun, 18 2020

      This report provides an updated scenario analysis to help parliamentarians gauge potential economic and fiscal implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent oil market developments.
      This report incorporates announced federal budgetary measures up to and including 12 June 2020.

    • Jun, 17 2020

      PBO has developed a modelling approach to estimate the top tail of the family wealth distribution in Canada. The modelling approach produces a new micro database of high-net-worth families to undertake analytical and costing work. This report describes the approach to constructing the database and showcases its analytical capabilities.

    • Jun, 17 2020

      In response to interest from parliamentarians, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) updated its monitoring of the Investing in Canada Plan (IICP). Under the IICP, the Government has committed to spend $187.8 billion over 2016-17 to 2027-28. The PBO solicited data from all 20 departments and agencies responsible for delivering IICP programming. Working with Infrastructure Canada, we compiled a data set of 33,112 entries for projects with $34.9 billion in spending since 2016-17.

  • Legislative Costing Notes

    • Aug, 31 2020

      The rent assistance will be provided through forgivable loans to property owners leasing property to eligible small businesses. In order to qualify for a forgivable loan in relation to the rent paid by an eligible small business, the property owners must have signed an agreement to lower the rent of a tenant small business by at least 75% and to not evict the tenant during the period of reduced rents. The loan will be forgiven if rents are in fact lowered by at least 75%. The loans cover 50% of the gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during the 3-month period of April, May and June 2020, prior to any rent reductions. 

      Eligible small businesses are those who:

      1.    pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location;
      2.    generate no more than $20 million in annual gross revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis; and
      3.    have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues) or have experienced at least a 70% decline compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues over the period. 

      Forgivable loans are extendable to include July and/or August rent where landlords choose to grant rent relief for July and/or August to eligible tenants based on their revenue declines in April to June. Loans and loan forgiveness will be available retroactively. Most provinces bear 25% of the cost of the program, up to a cap based on 25% of the initially estimated cost of the program; however, the cost of the program will not be shared in the territories or Prince Edward Island. 

      PBO estimates federal cost of this measure to be $931 million in 2020-21. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to the PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

    • Aug, 26 2020

      Introducing a one-time, tax-free payment to individuals receiving certain disability supports, including:

      - Individuals holding a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate, or who are eligible for one and apply by 25 September 2020;
      - Individuals receiving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefit as of 1 July 2020; or
      - Individuals receiving disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) as of 1 July 2020

      Eligible individuals will receive one of the following payment amounts:
      - $600; or
      - $300 for individuals who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; or 
      - $100 for individuals who are eligible for both the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance

      PBO estimates 1.67 million Canadians will receive a special payment and that the total net cost of this measure will be $792 million in 2020-21. 
      The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

    • Aug, 13 2020

      Introducing a wage subsidy for employers with reduced revenues.
      The subsidy is available for wages paid in ten 4-week periods from 15 March 2020 to 19 December 2020. The parameters for the tenth period have not yet been announced but were assumed to be the same as the parameters for the ninth period for the purposes of this analysis.
      For Periods 1 to 4, employers are eligible for the subsidy if they have a qualifying revenue decline. Revenue declines are calculated based on calendar months, rather than the 4-week periods, with the first period corresponding to March 2020. Revenues in the corresponding calendar month are usually compared to revenues in the same calendar month in the prior year. The revenue decline required for eligibility is 15% for March, and 30% for April, May and June. For July onwards, employers are eligible for the subsidy if in a period they have any revenue decline.
      For Periods 1 to 4, the subsidy is 75% of wages up to the lesser of the weekly cap and wages actually paid. For new employees, the subsidy is 75% of wages paid up to the cap. For Periods 5 to 10, the subsidy rate that an employer will receive depends on the extent of the employer’s revenue losses in the corresponding calendar month (for the base subsidy) and the preceding three calendar months (for the top-up). The level of subsidy declines over periods 7 to 9 as shown in the annexed tables. The employee remuneration eligible for subsides is capped at $1,129 per week.
      For employees on leave with pay, employers can also recover 100% of employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
      Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships as well as non-profit institutions and registered charities. Public bodies are not eligible.
      The PBO estimates the total net cost of this measure to be $59.2 billion - $67.9 billion in wage subsidies and $0.5 billion in forgone employer payroll contributions, offset by $9.1 billion in corporate income tax revenues from wage subsidies.

    • Jun, 30 2020

      The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help them cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. 
      To qualify for this program, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25%. The program will be implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.
      Sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll are also eligible for the CEBA after the expansion of the eligibility criteria in May 19, 2020. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants must have payroll lower than $20,000 and will need to demonstrate that they have:
      - a business operating account at a participating financial institution
      - a Canada Revenue Agency business number and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
      - eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. 
      Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.
      PBO estimates this program to cost $9.335 billion in 2020-2021. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

    • Jun, 25 2020

      Introducing a one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as of 1 June 2020. Payments will be equivalent to:
      a. $600 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate; 
      b. $300 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; and 
      c. $100 for Canadians with a valid DTC certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). 
      PBO estimates 1.33 million Canadians will receive a special payment and that the total net cost of this measure will be $595 million in 2020-21. 
      The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

    • Jun, 23 2020

      On June 16, 2020 the Government announced that eligibility for benefits under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional 8 weeks, bringing the maximum to 24 weeks total. 
      The CERB is a taxable benefit that provides $500 a week for workers who lose their income due to reasons related to COVID-19.  This includes Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are at home because of school and daycare closures. 
      Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13. 
      Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB.
      PBO estimates the cost to extend the maximum duration of benefits from 16 to 24 weeks under the CERB program to be $17.9 billion.  This would bring the total estimated program cost to $71.3 billion.

    • Jun, 18 2020

      Introducing the Financial Support for Indigenous Businesses and Aboriginal Financial Institutions (FSIBAFI) to provide up to $40,000, interest-free loan of $30,000 and  non-repayable contribution of $10,000, to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis small and medium-sized businesses, to help them cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. 
      The financial support will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis Capital Corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
      PBO estimates this program to cost $75 million in 2020-2021. The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s June 18, 2020 Economic and Fiscal Scenario.

    • Jun, 18 2020

      Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that would provide $500 a week for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income due to reasons related to COVID-19.  This includes Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are at home because of school and daycare closures. 
      Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13. 
      Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB.
      PBO estimates the CERB program will have a total cost of $53.4 billion in 2020-2021.

    • Jun, 18 2020

      Introducing a wage subsidy for employers with reduced revenues.
      The subsidy is available for wages paid in six 4-week periods from 15 March 2020 to 29 August 2020. Employers are eligible for the subsidy in relation to a period if they have a qualifying revenue decline based on the leading calendar month. The required revenue decline is 15% for March, 30% for April and May, and is assumed to remain 30% for June, July and August. 
      Employers may choose to compare their revenue level to the average of January and February or to the same month in the prior year. Once an eligible employer has determined that it has experienced the qualifying reduction in revenue for a particular claim period, it is also deemed eligible for the immediately subsequent claim period.
      For existing employees, the subsidy is up to the lesser of 75% of pre-crisis wages and $847 per week. For new employees, the subsidy is 75% of wages paid, up to $847 per week. “Pre-crisis” refers to the period of January 1 to March 15th. The level of subsidy is assumed to remain the same for June, July and August. Employers do not have to pay employees their full pre-crisis wages to qualify for the wage subsidy.
      Eligible employers can also recover 100% of employer-paid contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan in relation to employees on leave with pay.
      Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships as well as non-profit institutions and registered charities. Public bodies are not eligible.
      For employers that are eligible for both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the 10% wage subsidy for a period, any benefit from the 10% wage subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period would generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in that same period.
      The PBO estimates the total net cost of this measure to be $56 billion in 2020-21. 
      The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.

    • Jun, 09 2020

      Providing $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or a disability from May to August 2020.
      Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is a taxable benefit that would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or who are unable to work due to COVID-19.  Students who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are also eligible for the CESB. 
      Students are defined as Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada enrolled in a post-secondary educational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, at any time between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020. In addition, secondary school graduates this year that applied for or plan to enroll in programs that will begin before February 1, 2021, are eligible. 
      PBO estimates total net cost of this measure to be $5.9 billion in 2020-21 reaching approximately 1.1 million unique recipients. This includes an estimated cost of $6.0 billion for the benefit and an estimated cost recovery of $163 million for 2020 tax revenues. No additional administrative costs are anticipated. 
      The time horizon for this costing is aligned to PBO’s current Economic and Fiscal Scenario, although there may be potential fiscal impacts for subsequent years.