February 27th, 2024

Putting money back in Nova Scotians’ pockets

HALIFAX – As the Spring sitting of the Nova Scotia Legislature gets underway, it’s time for the Houston government to put money back in the pockets of everyday Nova Scotians. New Democrat MLAs will table legislation today to restore the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) to last year's rates, correct the unfair practice of cutting income assistance for those who are unhoused, and index income tax brackets going forward.

“I've been talking to Nova Scotia across the province, and nobody can avoid noticing the increasing cost of everything,” said NS NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “We have a heating assistance rebate program that was cut $400 from last year even though costs continue to increase and that should be corrected on day one.”

Families are spending six percent more on groceries than last year, and 13 percent more than the year before. Power rates have increased 14 percent in two years, and many Nova Scotians are making hard choices at the end of each month.

“We know that approximately one in four kids in Nova Scotia don’t get enough to eat every day, and that is a statistic no one should be comfortable with. We have been pushing for a school lunch program for a long time, which would help families right across the province,” said Chender.

Nova Scotia New Democrats are looking for several key items in Thursday’s budget to address the skyrocketing cost of living, including an increase to income assistance rates to keep up with inflation, re-establishing higher HARP rates, a universal school lunch program, and a freeze on pharmacare fees to help families and seniors afford their medication.