McNeil government needs to increase income assistance funding
July 9, 2015
The McNeil government’s two year freeze on income assistance has placed a tremendous burden on low-income families says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald. She is calling on Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard to commit to increasing income assistance funding in the next budget.
“When you factor in the cost of living, income assistance recipients are receiving less support than they did in 2013,” says MacDonald. “This means less money for food, less money for heat, less money for clothing and it has placed tremendous pressure on families who were already struggling to get by.”
MacDonald adds, “this isn’t the only cut the Liberals have targeted at our most vulnerable. They also took bus passes away from disabled income assistance recipients and cut funding to not-for-profit organizations that provide support. The net effect of these decisions has been devastating.”
Under the previous NDP government the personal allowance for income assistance recipients went up by 22%, which worked out on average to an additional $47 per month. In November of 2014, MacDonald introduced a bill requiring income assistance rates to be increased annually and that the increase be no less than the increase in the Consumer Price Index. The McNeil government did not allow the bill to proceed.