Canada’s official fiscal watchdog says the federal wage subsidy program might cost $14-billion less than the government predicted.

A new report Thursday by the analyst from the Parliamentary Budget Office analyst estimates subsidizing wages for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic will cost $67.9 billion through the end of December.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau estimated in his July fiscal report it would cost $82.3 billion.

The analyst said that figure was prudent at the time because of economic uncertainty and ongoing work to update the program’s rules.


*** with files from Casey Kenny ***