Economic Update Reveals Low Cost of Extending EI in Regina

November 1st, 2016

Today’s federal economic update reveals that excluding Regina from the extended Employment Insurance (EI) benefits provided everywhere else in Saskatchewan and Alberta is saving the federal government only about $10 million.

“The fiscal savings from leaving out our city are a rounding error in the federal budget,” said Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir. “Why are the Liberals so determined to exclude laid-off workers in Regina from EI?”

Table A1.4 on page 70 of today’s update indicates that the EI extension, which now includes 15 regions, will cost $152.3 million this fiscal year (2016-17). Therefore, it would cost around $10 million to add one more region and cover the whole province.

The document (page 73) also indicates an annual surplus of $1.1 billion for 2016-17, and an accumulated surplus of $2 billion, in the EI Operating Account.

“There is no shortage of money in the EI account to assist laid-off workers and their families in Regina,” said Weir. “The federal government is simply choosing to not to help.”

He recently challenged the Minister of Employment in Parliament on her government excluding Regina from extended EI. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk8EKw0xVgg