March 11, 2020
Green Party Leader tables motion to further increase social assistance rates and implement basic income guarantee pilot in New Brunswick
“Caring for the most vulnerable among us has to be a top priority, therefore reforming social assistance has to be a top priority. Yesterday’s budget allows for a 5% increase, which is simply not enough for a person who is currently living on $537 a month. That will only give them a monthly increase of $27, that doesn’t even cover the purchasing power they have lost over the past 10 years,” says Coon.
“It would cost an additional $13.4 million to adjust social assistance rates to compensate for the impact of inflation over the past 10 years. Instead of budgeting for a $92 million surplus, Premier Higgs must invest in the wellbeing of the New Brunswickers that need it most.”
The motion urges the Legislative Assembly to take three concrete actions:
- To conduct a comprehensive review of social assistance legislation, regulations, and policy in New Brunswick and report back to the Legislature by June 1, 2020;
- To immediately increase social assistance rates by 16.51% for single individuals on transitional assistance and 8.27% for other recipients to account for the loss of purchasing power since they were last raised, and then index the rates to inflation;
- To pursue a basic income guarantee pilot project in New Brunswick with the participation of the federal government.
– 30 –