COVID-19 continues to sap Canadians’ purchasing power, with a new poll commissioned by Postmedia Inc. finding nearly half of respondents unable to afford a work stoppage as they have neither back-up funds nor benefits.
“The income level of these people is simply not going to be there, so the question is how can governments respond to it,” pollster John Wright said.
Fully 47% of those surveyed admitted that missing work days – an ever-pressing reality amid the outbreak – will mean empty pockets and stomachs for them. As much as 23% also expressed anxiety over the fact that they might lose their current employment, the Financial Post reported.
“People are now going to start evaluating what this all means to them personally,” Wright noted, stressing that the onus is on governments to assuage these fears and answer these needs.
This might prove challenging considering the numbers: while 68% of respondents approve of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s performance during this crisis, and an average of 74% say that political leaders across Canada are doing well, 87% stand behind their local health workers.
“Politicians are pretty low on the trust list, whereas physicians are going to be much higher,” according to Melanee Thomas, a political scientist with the University of Calgary. “I would expect perceptions of [medical officials’] leadership to be through the roof.”
With looming insolvency remaining a threat to approximately 48% of Canadians per MNP LTD figures, delinquencies might see a notable increase in the next few months if the coronavirus continues to ravage the economy, Scott Terrio of Hoyes, Michalos & Associates stated.
Moreover, even though the federal government has already pledged over $565 billion dollars in helping rejuvenate the financial system, “Canadian households are likely to face cash flow issues,” RBC Economics analysts warned.