Beginning Oct. 1, people who receive social assistance in Nova Scotia will see a $4 increase to their monthly income. This paltry increase is a long way from bringing social assistance rates up to the standard of the low-income cut-off level.
In its 2006 report, The National Council on Welfare reported that social assistance recipients in Nova Scotia have lost 20 per cent of their purchasing power since the late 1980s. The council notes that between 1989 and 2002, welfare incomes for employable, single persons with a disability, lone parents, and couples have seen their incomes decline in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and New Brunswick.
It is ironic that social assistance personal allowance rates are going up 1.96 per cent while Nova Scotia Power is looking to increase its rates by 9.4 per cent.
The Halifax Coalition Against Poverty will be holding a press conference at the Department of Community Services, 2131 Gottingen St., at 11 a.m. on Oct. 1 to demand that the provincial government raise social assistance rates to a livable level. Please come and show your support.
Sharon Murphy, Halifax
Friday, September 26, 2008
A letter to the editor published in the September 25th edition of The Chronicle Herald: