Human Resources, Labour and Employment
March 30, 2007

Government Increases Basic Income Support Benefits

Effective April 1, government will fulfill another key commitment to poverty reduction by providing an additional $3 million annually to further increase basic income support. This will be accomplished by tying the basic income support rate to the provincial consumer price index (CPI) which means an increase of 1.8 per cent.

“The Province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy outlined in Reducing Poverty: An Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador contains a series of measures to reduce, alleviate and ultimately eliminate poverty in our province,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. “Government is following through on another significant initiative under the strategy. Indexing basic income support rates for the next six years means benefits to clients will keep pace with the cost of living.”

This is in addition to $7.4 million annually to increase basic income support rates by five per cent effective July 2006. Together, these two measures are helping alleviate the negative affects of poverty while bringing rates more in line with the cost of living.

For a family of two adults and two children these two poverty reduction strategy measures mean that they will see benefits on an annual basis rise by $636. Similarly, a single parent with one child will see basic income support benefits increase by $468 annually.

Government is currently investing $64 million annually to support a comprehensive package of poverty reduction initiatives, including expanding eligibility for the provincial prescription drug program, eliminating school fees and enhancing Adult Basic Education (ABE) offerings.

“Tackling poverty requires taking a strategic and long term approach in partnership with the needs of the community,” said Minister Skinner. “These enhancements to the Income Support Program demonstrate government’s firm commitment to improve the quality of life of our more vulnerable citizens.”

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Media contact:
Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623
edmoriarity@gov.nl.ca

2007 03 30                           9:30 a.m.


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