Human Resources, Labour and Employment
June 14, 2007

Opposition Fails to Understand Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, said he is disappointed with claims by the Opposition that government is failing in the fight against poverty in our province.

"Our government took the bold step to tackle poverty head-on with the implementation of a comprehensive Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2006, only the second province in the country to do so. In 2007 the total funding allocated specifically to poverty reduction is $91 million," said Minister Skinner. "We know there are groups vulnerable to poverty in this province and that is why we are taking an integrated approach to developing programs and services to help address their particular needs. It is also important to note that the president of the National Anti-Poverty Organization has stated that our approach should be used as a model for a national anti-poverty strategy."

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched its Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2006. The development of this strategy included consultations with various groups throughout Newfoundland and Labrador that deal with poverty related issues. Its goal is the reduction of poverty levels for Newfoundland and Labrador.

This strategy involves investments in a number of key areas such as education, health, housing, child care, and labour market development along with other initiatives to improve the social safety net. In addition to expanding access to programs, the Provincial Government has also increased benefit rates along with indexing them in order to keep rates in line with inflation.

"Our government is committed to a strategy that will identify the root causes of poverty in order to prevent people from experiencing it in the first place," said Minister Skinner. "Fighting poverty requires the will and support of all our citizens. We will continue to work with community partners in Newfoundland and Labrador who are on the frontlines of the fight against poverty. I am very proud of the proactive approach to poverty reduction taken by our government. We have demonstrated a commitment to providing all of our citizens the best possible standard of living and we will work tirelessly at achieving this goal."


Media contact:
Stephen Byrne
Communications Specialist
Human Resources Labour and Employment
(709) 729-6156

2007 06 14                                                  1:25 p.m.


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