With the release of the 2022 Federal Budget, our Research & Policy team highlights how the numbers address young people's interests.
Coming into the start of 2022 and as addressed in our January snapshot, the main concern for youth was uncertainty, unpredictability from COVID-19 and inflation. The 2021 budget had an emphasis on income generation through employment, as well as supporting businesses through COVID-19 recovery.
While there are items in the 2022 budget that youth will benefit from as part of the population-at-large, the 2022 budget could have been more explicit in terms of targeting, especially compared to last year’s budget.
Last year’s budget was an expansionary and election budget so there was more money given to SMEs, youth and seniors for 2+ year periods. Many of the issues closer to youths’ needs are still being funded/covered by proposals from last year’s budget. Prominent examples include the moratorium on student loans and expansionary investment ($371million) in the Canada Summer Jobs Programme, both running until mid-2023.
Given inflation now and the economic recovery (relative to Apr 2021) from the pandemic, this is a more cautious budget, focused on housing and inflation-or trying to manage it. The pandemic context still needs to be borne in mind-we’re still in one till WHO says we are not. While the national vaccination rate (2 shots) is high (81%), the virus’ evolution and ease of transmission are still problems, especially as we are in another wave at the time of budget release/writing.
We will talk about issues that affect the general public, but hone in on how youth interests are affected by them (housing, health care), as well as unique youth (15-29), needs around employment & skills and a note on inflation.