NL NDP calls for an end to CERB clawbacks

Updated: Feb 10


For immediate release

Feb. 1, 2021 ST. JOHN'S – Today, the NL NDP is calling on the Liberal government to stop clawbacks on income support for those who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). "Thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians applied for CERB because they needed income to get through the pandemic. Now, those on income support who also received CERB are struggling because the Liberal government is clawing back the money they received to get by,” said Coffin. “The federal government provided this benefit to those who needed it, and even asked the provinces to treat CERB the same as the Canada Child Benefit so people would not face these types of clawbacks.” Coffin said the situation with CERB was complicated for those who receive income support and to now penalize low-income families is wrong. “By clawing back income supports the provincial Liberals are going after people who are barely surviving the pandemic,” said Coffin. “For those who had their income supports cut off, reapplying for income assistance took weeks and vulnerable people lost their bus passes or drug cards. Some faced the threat of homeless. We have to do better than taking money from some of the most vulnerable in our communities.” Over 120,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians applied for CERB, many who thought they qualified but later were told they’ll have to pay some or all of the benefit back when they file taxes. "I’ve heard from many people on the doorstep and in my office, who are worried about the impact of CERB on their financial future,” said Jim Dinn, the NDP candidate for St. John’s Centre. “The situation with CERB has also left artists, independent contractors, and small business operators scrambling because of a lack of clarity from the federal Liberals. Every New Democrat elected will fight on behalf of all those who are being penalized for applying for CERB in good faith.” -30-