81% of Quebecers consider that $500 is not nearly enough to compensate for inflation

Is the CAQ government’s $500 cheque enough to cover the cost of inflation? No it’s not. According to Hardbacon’s survey, 80.8% of Quebecers consider it too little. Not only is it inadequate, but a majority of Quebecers think it’s unfair but don’t agree on why.


Not enough money to make a real difference

Since 81% of Quebecers think that $500 is not enough, what do they think is the right number? 24.1% think the government should pay $1000, 18.2% think it is $1500. 17.9% think the figure is $2000 and 17.4% think $3000 is right. 7.2% of people think $1250 is enough while 2.2% want $750. When you average all responses, the amount comes out to $1778.28 to compensate for inflation. The government’s $500 is off by a lot. 

Is the plan fair? 

19.5% of the people agree that the plan is fair because everyone gets the same amount. That leaves 80.5% saying that the project is unfair. Digging deeper into the numbers, you find that the reasoning comes down to two ideas. 64.2% think that it is unfair because the poorest are most affected by inflation, so they should get the money. 16.3% think that since those earning over $100,000 pay more in taxes, they should also get access to the payout.


Does income matter when it comes to opinions on fairness?

People earning more than $110,000 a year will not get the $500 cheque, but 59.1% of them think that the plan is unfair because it is the poorest in Quebec who are hardest hit by inflation. It is not a unique perspective. In fact, there is a lot of support for this idea at various income levels. 72.7% of people earning less than $25,000 a year think that the plan should favour the poorest in Quebec. 

There are Quebecers, however, who think that those earning more than $100,000 should also get a cheque. It is just not in such high numbers. 15.3% of people earning less than $25,000 a year think that high-income earners deserve the $500 compensation. You might expect an explosive jump in support among people who earn $100,000 to $110,000, but it just doesn’t happen. They partially missed the cutoff and still only 28.6% think that they deserve the $500 because they pay more tax. The big increase is among those earning more than $110,000 a year, which will not get a cent from the scheme: 40.9% want access to the money since they pay more in taxes than the other brackets.

What people plan to do with their $500 from the government 

The responses show that 39.3% of people plan to pay off their debt. 20.4% want to invest the $500, and 20.4% want to save it. Only 19.8% plan to spend their $500 on products or services. 

Paying off debt with the money

What kind of debt do people want to pay off? Credit card debt leads the list (35.9%), followed by past-due bills (24.7%), bank line of credit (12.1%), loans from friends or family (5.1%), credit installment loans (5.1%), private loans (3.5%) and finally, mortgage (3%). 10.6% of people plan to pay off another form of debt.

Quebecers want to invest the money in exchange-traded funds

While 20.4% of people plan to invest their $500, where and how they want to invest is more fragmented. 43.7% plan to buy into exchange-traded funds, while 22.3% want to buy Canadian stocks. Only 4.9% want to own American equities. 7% of people want to buy mutual funds. A full 3.9% want the safety of bonds. Despite gaining ground in mainstream media, only 4.9% plan to invest in cryptocurrency. Gold might have lost some of its shine since only 1.9% of people want to invest in it. 

Young, beautiful and investing for the future

Quebecers between the ages of 18 and 44 – call them Generation Z and Millenials if you want – are investors. The most eager are the 18 to 24 year olds: 56.3% are going to invest their $500 when they get it. Time only slightly diminishes the enthusiasm: by age 44, a full 30.1% still plan to invest their $500.

What does saving money mean?

It is good news for banks since 41.7% of people plan to put it in a savings account. 29.1% will leave it in a chequing account, and 4.9% will buy a guaranteed investment certificate

Interestingly, 1.9% want to convert their $500 into cryptocurrency as a means of saving. 1.9% will cash in the money and put it under their mattress! That leaves a full 20.4% of people who have other savings plans in mind.

Where do people want to spend their $500?

A majority of people (53%) plan to buy food with their $500, not to be confused with the 3% that will go to a bar or restaurant, or the 2% that want to buy alcohol. Cars will also get some attention, since 15% of people plan to use the money on fuel and car maintenance. Only 6% plan to go shopping, and another 2% want to buy clothes. After a long winter, 4% want to put the money toward a vacation

Hardbacon surveyed 501 people in Quebec between March 25 and 28, 2022.

Hardbacon Survey
Stefani Balinsky is the former Editor in Chief at Hardbacon. She has been writing professionally since her days at McGill University and her summer internship at the Just for Laughs Festival. She has multiple degrees from McGill University and her PMP from the Project Management Institute. She loves data and research as much as she loves a good story. She has held marketing positions in publishing, health, and fintech companies. She also has an entrepreneurial mindset that feeds her curiosity. She can be reached on LinkedIn.