Quebecers say government aid of $500 is not enough

A majority of Quebecers say an impending $500 tax credit from the government is not enough to offset inflation. 81% of residents need payments of at least $1,700 to offset the rising cost of living this year, according to data from the personal finance site hard bacon.

Just over 500 Quebecers aged 18 and over responded to the company last weekend, with many wondering who would receive the government funds.

Individuals who earn less than $100,000 and file a 2021 tax return are eligible for the one-time payment Cost of life refund. But eight out of 10 Quebecers said the plan is unfair.

About 64% felt low-income residents should be prioritized for compensation, while 16% said people in higher income brackets who pay more taxes deserve the payment.

The new data also showed how residents plan to spend their spot credit.

Just under half plan to use their checks to pay off debt, with overdue credit cards and bills topping the list. The money is less likely to go toward mortgage payments, perhaps because soaring house prices have reduced affordability over the past year.

Quebecers are equally divided when it comes to investing or saving government money. Those looking at investing said they would focus on exchange-traded funds (43.7%) which offer a do-it-yourself approach to buying and trading company stocks, followed by stocks (22.3%), US stocks (4.9%), mutual funds (7%), bonds (3.9%), cryptocurrency (4.9%) and gold (1.9%).

Less than 20% of respondents plan to spend their money directly. But those who do said they would likely prioritize groceries (53%) or spend their credit at the gas pump (15%).

About 3% of Quebecers said they would allocate the money for a night out at a bar or restaurant, while the rest say they would use it to buy alcohol (2%), hopefully not to consume it all at once or to help forget about the steep rise in the cost of living.

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