A new report from the N.C. Budget & Tax Center  (BTC) details how a proposal to reform the unemployment insurance system by the legislature’s Revenue Laws Study Committee would result in deep benefit cuts for workers, and would provide further tax cuts for employers.
The report notes that in the rush to repay the federal government the money borrowed to cover unemployment benefits throughout the recession, unemployed workers would see a reduction in the maximum benefit amount by 33 percent, a reduction in the maximum duration of benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks , and changes in the eligibility rules.
According to the BTC, the impact of just the reduction from 26 to 20 weeks on total benefits paid out would result in $166 million less circulating in the economy by the time the system reached solvency in 2016.
State Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco defended the decrease in benefits last weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, but also acknowledged tax cuts for employers in the 1990s led to the fiscal challenge the state is now facing.
“This plan hurts a lot of people, maybe it’s a good plan because it hurts everybody,” said Crisco. “One thing that is very positive, for business it removes the uncertainty.”
The Revenue Law Study Committee will revisit the proposal to reform the unemployment insurance system at its January 8th meeting.
To hear an excerpt of Sec. Crisco’s interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below. To hear the full interview, visit the Radio Interview section  of the NC Policy Watch website.
To read the Budget & Tax Center’s new report on the unemployment insurance system , click here .