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Trudeau proposes EI premium holiday for businesses that hire new workers

Justin Trudeau in conversation with Maclean's, August 2014 MACLEAN'S

Justin Trudeau says employers who hire additional workers should get a two-year holiday from paying employment insurance premiums for those employees.

The Liberal leader says his proposal would help create jobs.

By contrast, he says the Harper government’s decision last week to reduce premiums for some small businesses will actually give employers an incentive to fire workers.

The government announced that it will reduce premiums only for businesses that pay less than $15,000 in total EI payments.

Trudeau says his proposal would cost the same as the government’s plan — $225 million — and create 176,000 jobs.

Trudeau says the Liberals will also probably support NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s proposal to introduce a $15-per-hour minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly reported that the Liberal EI program would cover one year.