OTTAWA - The Harper government is introducing legislation to extend employment insurance benefits for long-tenured workers.

It's a move that could help avert a fall election - if the NDP supports the measure.

The proposed bill would provide an extra five to 20 weeks of benefits to workers who lost their jobs after paying into the EI system for years without making claims.

It also includes other measures, including more funding for skills training.

The legislation would be temporary - aimed at addressing the current economic difficulty.

The Conservatives say the measures would cost $900 million.