Improved supports more than 240,000 Nova Scotians

June 28, 2012

Starting July 1, more than 240,000 Nova Scotians will get more help making ends meet thanks to an increase in government support to a variety of programs.

“We know many low-income Nova Scotians are having a difficult time making ends meet. This is the second year in a row that we have increased supports to help put more money in the pockets of Nova Scotians in need,” said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse.

The province is investing $6 million this year to help low-income Nova Scotians better provide for themselves and their families. This is on top of last year’s commitment of $18 million, one of the most significant investments in a decade.

The new supports include:

— investing an additional $2.5 million to increase the Nova Scotia Child Benefit, helping 24,000 families, and almost twice as many children

— a $9-per-month increase in the Income Assistance personal allowance to help more than 31,000 adults. This comes on top of last year’s $15-per-month increase, the largest boost in a decade

–- increasing the annual Poverty Reduction Credit by over 20 per cent to $250, helping some 14,000 Nova Scotian who are among the most vulnerable

–- increasing the Affordable Living Tax Credit to $255 for an individual adult and to $60 for a dependent child, helping about 240,000 Nova Scotians

For a single parent with two children receiving income assistance, these changes could add up to more than $1,000 extra per year for those not working, and almost $2,300 more a year for those on income assistance with a job.

In addition, the government recently invested $863,000 in enhanced employment support services to help more people on income assistance get training so they can find and keep a job.

Since 2009, government has made other, significant efforts to help families, including increasing minimum wage, adding 250 child care subsidies, building more affordable housing and removing the provincial portion of the HST from home heating, children’s shoes, clothing and diapers.