Key Trudeau vow to ad­dress high youth un­em­ploy­ment rate ab­sent from bud­get

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

A no­table Lib­eral elec­tion pledge de­signed to en­cour­age em­ploy­ers to hire young peo­ple failed to make the cut in last week’s fed­eral bud­get.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau vowed dur­ing last year’s cam­paign to of­fer a 12month holiday on em­ploy­ment in­surance pre­mi­ums to em­ploy­ers who give per­ma­nent jobs to peo­ple aged 18-24.

The prom­ise, an­nounced in Septem­ber by Trudeau him­self, was sup­posed to come into force this year and ex­tend through 2017 and 2018 — but it didn’t re­ceive a men­tion in the bud­get.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trudeau noted that the Chre­tien Lib­er­als did some­thing sim­i­lar in the late 1990s “to tremen­dously pos­i­tive ef­fect.’’

“We saw the num­ber of young peo­ple’s jobs spike dur­ing those years,’’ Trudeau, who is now the fed­eral min­is­ter of youth, said dur­ing the cam­paign stop in Burnaby, B.C., with a group of young peo­ple be­hind him.

“That’s ex­actly what we need right now given the ex­tremely high un­em­ploy­ment rates for youth.’’

Last month, the coun­try’s un­em­ploy­ment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 was 13.3 per cent, com­pared to 7.3 per cent for peo­ple 15 and over.

The pledge would have also pro­vided fi­nan­cial relief for po­ten­tial bosses by waiv­ing their EI con­tri­bu­tions.

The Lib­er­als es­ti­mated the to­tal sav­ings for em­ploy­ers would have been $80 mil­lion this year, $80 mil­lion in 2017 and $60 mil­lion in 2018.

Dan Kelly, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Cana­dian Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Busi­ness, said Tues­day his membership was very sup­port­ive of Trudeau’s prom­ise to of­fer EI relief.

“That was one thing that busi­ness own­ers re­ally liked,’’ said Kelly, who was also deeply dis­ap­pointed the Lib­er­als “de­ferred’’ an­other of their pledges to con­tinue re­duc­ing the small busi­ness tax rate be­yond 2016.

“That was the sec­ond el­e­ment of their plat­form that we ap­plauded and they scrapped that, too.’’


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