Trudeau’s New Child Benefits Worth Extra C$300 Million in July

The Canadian government released the first bit of data on its new child benefits, showing an increase of about C$300 million ($229 million) the month the program was first rolled out.

Spending on children’s benefits was C$1.84 billion in July, the finance department said in its monthly fiscal release Friday. That compares with C$1.54 billion in June and C$1.55 billion in July last year. The enhanced benefits began hitting families’ bank accounts in the second half of the month.

Policy makers predict the augmented program -- a key plank of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign last year -- will boost a struggling economy. In its March budget, the government forecast that the increased benefits would amount to C$4.51 billion in the fiscal year that began April 1 and C$5.37 billion the year following.

The enhanced child benefits helped boost program expenses to C$22.7 billion in July, from C$21.3 billion a year earlier. The government ran a C$1.76 billion deficit during the month, after a C$150 million surplus in the same month last year.

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