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Are you concerned about how much the federal government is spending to fight COVID-19?

Poll: pandemic spending

The federal Liberals are proposing $25 billion in new spending to help Canadian businesses and workers make it through a COVID-19 winter and vowing tens of billions more to help the country recover from the pandemic.

The government's fall economic update proposes to send extra child-benefit payments to families next year as well as cash for skills training and to create new jobs.

For businesses, the government wants to bring the wage subsidy back to 75 per cent of business payroll costs and extend the business rent subsidy to mid-March.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's update makes clear the measures will be removed once the economy improves, although the timing is tied to the path of the pandemic.

The cost to date has the federal deficit reaching $381.6 billion this year, but the government's math says it could close in on $400 billion if widespread lockdowns return in the coming weeks.

Freeland's update tees up work already underway to craft a spring budget focused on an economic recovery. She says federal support for that will include a three-year stimulus plan worth up to $100 billion.

The recession the pandemic has caused is deeper than the one the country faced in the last downturn over a decade ago, and the Liberals make the case in their fiscal update that the stimulus response needs to be even greater this time around.

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