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Albertans in dire financial straits in March: poll

58% of Albertans polled were $200 or less from insolvency at the beginning of March.

60% of Albertans are struggling to pay monthly expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to an Ipsos poll commissioned by the MNP Consumer Debt Index, 58% of people polled were $200 or less from insolvency at the beginning of March. 

The index measures attitudes across Canada towards consumer debt and estimates the confidence people have in their ability to pay back their debts.

“The global crisis surrounding COVID-19 has delivered an unprecedented financial shock to Albertans at a time when personal finances are already a source of stress for many. The latest MNP Consumer Debt Index compiled earlier this month shows Albertans are more worried about their consumer debt than ever,” claims MNP. 

Another 46% of Albertans are scared that they or someone in their home could lose their jobs, while the same amount claims they could not financially deal with losing their jobs or a change in their income.  

This is over 10% higher than the national averages. 

At the national level, 34% of Canadians are concerned about losing employment, while another 30% say they wouldn’t be able to cope if they lost their jobs. 

“Over the next few months we’ll likely see an unfolding of two crises: the global pandemic and the bursting of the Canadian consumer debt bubble,” said MNP President Grant Bazian in a news release

According to the latest data, 2.13 million employment insurance claims were made over the past two weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The federal government has been slow to process the influx but has implemented an expedited process to deal with the 1.6 million claim backlog. 

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