December 20, 2005
(Human Resources, Labour and Employment)
Report on poverty reduction workshops rich with insights
A report on what was heard in workshops about poverty across Newfoundland and Labrador illustrates how broad and complex the challenge of reducing poverty is, says Paul Shelley, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment (HRLE). The consultantsí report on public views is now publicly available.
"Poverty is clearly a complex issue for which there is no simple solution," said Minister Shelley. "We certainly value the input of everyone who has provided feedback about poverty reduction. We are going to study suggestions closely in the coming months as we prepare a strategy to reduce poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador."
In the 2005 Speech from the Throne and Budget, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador committed to develop a comprehensive, government-wide poverty reduction strategy. Funding of $200,000 was committed in March 2005 to develop this strategy. The consultantsí report on workshops held this summer is one component of this work.
"We are listening," added Minister Shelley. "In addition to the workshops summarized in this report, we have received over 300 calls to a toll-free feedback line and about 60 detailed written submissions. Discussions have also been held with people living in poverty and we have sought input from government front-line workers. While there are no simple solutions, we are committed to listening and to working together to reduce poverty."
Work on developing the poverty reduction strategy will continue into 2006. In the meantime, government has been acting to protect the most vulnerable in society. This includes doubling the heat supplement for income support clients, doubling their per-kilometre compensation rate for some medical travel, and increasing the Home Heating Fuel Rebate.
The Report on Workshop Sessions on the Development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy, prepared by management consultants Goss Gilroy Inc., is available online at www.gov.nl.ca/hrle/PRSWorkshopReportSummary.pdf
NOTE TO EDITORS: A backgrounder about the governmentís strategic approach to reducing poverty is available at www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2005/hrle/0321n22.htm
Media contact: Alex Marland, Communications (709) 729-4062, 690-6047
2005 12 20 10:30 a.m.