Mancini asking Bernard to clarify statements that suggest possible 5-Year Income Assistance Rate Freeze

October 17, 2015

Today, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Dartmouth South MLA Marian Mancini is calling on Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard to clarify statements she made suggesting the McNeil government will continue to freeze assistance rates for their entire term in government.

When questioned by CBC this week (see video) about whether any increases will take place while the Minister finishes her review of the Income Assistance program, which is expected to conclude in 2018, Bernard appeared to dismiss the idea, saying “We’re not looking at incremental changes.”

“A freeze in social assistance rates is actually a cut,” says Mancini. “In the past 2 years the cost of living in Nova Scotia has gone up by almost 3% yet the Minister has refused to help income assistance recipients bridge that gap. If Minister Bernard continues to freeze rates and benefits until 2018 it will only push families further into poverty.”