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Quebec defends decision to issue inflation relief while seeking more healthcare funding from Ottawa

Finance Minister Eric Girard said Wednesday that Quebec’s decision to give most residents a second cash payment to help them deal with inflation has prevented Ottawa from providing additional health care funding to the state. He argued that there was no reason to do so.

Payments of up to $600 will enable Quebec citizens to meet their immediate needs, including rapidly increasing prices for food, housing, clothing and transportation, he said. Meanwhile, he added, healthcare needs stable, long-term funding.

“It is our responsibility to help the people of Quebec cope with rising inflation. The essential need is pressing,” Girard told reporters in Quebec City, noting that the move was an “exceptional” measure. I explained that there is

The payments distributed in December to the 6.5 million Quebec citizens who earned up to $104,000 in 2021 will cost about $3.5 billion.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is handing out funds as he and other Canadian provincial and territory leaders call on Ottawa to increase federal health insurance benefits from 22% to 35%. increase. .

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week criticized the state for seeking more money from Ottawa for health care, while spending billions on inflation-related payments and tax cuts. He said he chose to send money to citizens rather than spend it on other things.

“If the government is choosing to send checks to citizens instead of investing in the health care system, it’s a choice that must be justified by citizens,” he said. are there to support the health care system.”

Trudeau, who visited New Brunswick the day before, also criticized inflation payments and tax cuts.

Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters in Olomoct, N.J., “With the local system, if you send checks to the people who need them least, or cut taxes for the richest, there’s no shortage of money. No,’ he said.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is pushing for tax cuts for high-income earners, and Quebec has promised an income tax cut in 2023. The states of Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador have also announced plans to send cash to residents in response to inflation.

Quebec’s aid aims to help people cope with the rising costs of daily needs such as food. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

State different responsibilities

Girard said he didn’t think Trudeau’s claim was a good one.

“Just because the Quebec government is helping its citizens cope with the rising cost of living does not mean that health insurance transfers should not increase. This argument does not hold,” he said. Stated.

State and federal governments have multiple responsibilities, Girard said, adding that Ottawa recently announced new funding for dental care programs. “Why does the federal government have funding for new health programs when existing programs don’t have enough?”

Since the late 1970s, according to Girard, the federal burden of funding health care has steadily declined.

“What is undeniable is that the percentage of federally envisioned healthcare funding has declined over time and will continue to decline.

Health care now accounts for 43% of Quebec’s budget, and costs are increasing by about 5% a year, he said.

Wednesday’s law accused Ottawa of failing to make progress in health-funding negotiations between the federal government and state and territory health ministers.

“I can’t believe Mr Trudeau is saying ‘Mr Legault shouldn’t be helping the people of Quebec to deal with inflation’,” the prime minister told reporters in Quebec City.

Girard, meanwhile, said he did not expect Quebec to make a third payment. The government this year sent him $500 to Quebec citizens whose income was less than $100,000. The finance minister said he expected inflation to stop rising as economic growth slowed, adding that he believed there was a 50% chance that Quebec’s economy would slip into recession in 2023.

Quebec defends decision to issue inflation relief while seeking more healthcare funding from Ottawa

Source link Quebec defends decision to issue inflation relief while seeking more healthcare funding from Ottawa

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