March 11, 2020
Green Party Leader tables motion to further increase social assistance rates and implement basic income guarantee pilot in New Brunswick
Fredericton – Green Party Leader tabled a motion to further increase social assistance rates and implement basic income guarantee pilot in New Brunswick today.
“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.
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