Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

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Ottawa: A new poll suggests Canadians are torn on whether the federal government should turn off the spending taps to keep the resulting deficit from flooding the nation’s future.

The Leger/Association for Canadian Studies survey found 41 per cent think that COVID-19 support programs and payments must immediately be scaled back.

Forty-four per cent think the payments to Canadians and businesses ought to continue even with the $343-billion projected deficit.

The poll suggests 78 per cent are worried about that bottom-line figure, and 60 per cent think the way out of the hole is to cut government spending, while 21 per cent say raising taxes is the solution.

The poll surveyed 1,523 Canadians between July 10 and 12 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random.

Yesterday, the Liberal government announced that one of the biggest aid programs _ a federal wage subsidy _ will be extended until the end of this year.