A tax holiday for apartment builders will cost more than $4 billion, the Department of Finance disclosed yesterday. Expenses are triple those estimated two years ago by the Budget Office.

“We are talking about $4.5 billion over the next five years,” said Miodrag Jovanovic, assistant deputy finance minister. Jovanovic revealed the figure under questioning at the Senate national finance committee.

“Has there been an assessment of the cost of this measure?” asked Senator Éric Forest (Que.). “It represents several billion dollars over the next five years,” replied Jovanovic. “It is mainly recognizing the fact the cost of financing construction has increased hugely over the last 18 months.”

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