Boost to seniors benefit this summer and beyond could cost $10.7 billion, PBO says

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OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget officer is estimating the Liberals' plan to send one-time payments this summer to seniors over 75 and then boost their old-age benefits thereafter will cost slightly less than the government estimates.

April's budget estimated that the overall cost of the measures would amount to just over $12 billion over five years before accounting for tax revenues that will offset a small part of the overall spend.

The budget office in a report today estimates the gross cost will be closer to $10.7 billion.

The spending starts this summer with the government's planned one-time payment of $500 in August to every senior who will be 75 and over by the summer of 2022.

And come next summer, the Liberals are also proposing a 10-per-cent boost in old age security for those over 75, which the budget estimated would provide an extra $766 in benefits to 3.3 million retirees.

The budget estimated the net cost of the measure, once accounting for extra tax revenues, at almost $10.7 billion, while the budget officer's report puts it closer to $9.9 billion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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