March 26, 1998
(Human Resources and Employment)
Minister announces new income support and
Julie Bettney, Minister of Human Resources and
Employment, announced today a number of income support and labour
market initiatives to help individuals move into paid employment.
The new initiatives will help the department
further its goals of creating employment opportunities, reducing
child poverty, encouraging self reliance in clients and removing
barriers to employment.
"With services for children and families
moving to Health and Community Services, the new Department of
Human Resources and Employment will be able to focus more on
proactive measures to help individuals remain in the labour
market," said Minister Bettney. "These new initiatives
are a first step to achieving our goal of improved services to
During 1998/99 Government will implement a number
of initiatives designed to address the income support needs of
Effective May 1, 1998, an additional $3 M
will be provided to increase the rates for regular
assistance (food, clothing, fuel, household maintenance)
and Board and Lodging for all clients by 2%.
Effective May 1, 1998, $400,000 will be
used to provide a monthly $150 Cost of Living Allowance
for families with dependent children residing in Coastal
Effective June 1, 1998, $500,000 will be
provided to revise the earnings exemption for families
with dependent children to a maximum monthly exemption of
Another $500,000 will go towards a pilot
project to explore income support supplementation for
single parents to help them secure employment.
In addition to initiatives related to the
redesign of income support programs, the Department will be
actively pursuing the redesign of employment related programming
to meet the needs of both income support clients and other client
Government recognizes the problems faced by young
people as they try to make the difficult transition from school
to work. In this regard, there will be a major focus on youth and
post secondary students.
Over $7.5 M will be directed towards
youth programs, targeting post secondary students, youth
"at risk" of becoming dependant on long term
income support and youth seeking a first job and work
experience. Over 2,500 jobs will be supported through
wage subsidy initiatives.
Within the youth component, $2.1 M will
support student employment through the Student Work and
Services Program (SWASP). The program will be available
to private sector employers, Memorial University and the
College of the North Atlantic. About 1,750 student jobs
will be created.
The Department of Human Resources and
Employment and HRDC, through the Opening Doors Program,
have committed an additional $1 M over the next two
fiscal years to create new public sector employment
opportunities for persons with disabilities in this
Contact: Karen Kelloway, Communications, (709)
1998 03 26 5:40 p.m.