Health and Community Services
June 13, 2008
Report Shows National Child Benefit Improving Situation of Families with Children Living in Low Income
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services are pleased to release to Canadians the eighth report on the progress of the National Child Benefit (NCB). The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2006 shows that the NCB is improving the economic well-being of families with children living in low income.
"The NCB initiative is helping low-income families become stronger and more self-sufficient," said the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Federal Co-Chair of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services. "The most important investment we can make as a country is to help Canadian families by providing the support and choice parents need to raise their children."
"The National Child Benefit is a significant federal, provincial and territorial partnership that represents an investment in the health and well-being of children and families," said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services for Newfoundland and Labrador and Provincial Co-Chair of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Social Services Forum. "The results are positive impacts in the lives of Canadian children, families and communities."
The report contains an analysis that compares the actual child benefits structure in 2004 to what it would have been without the NCB. The report shows that the NCB prevented 59,000 families with 125,000 children from living in low income in 2004. This means that there were 12.1 per cent fewer low-income families as a result of the NCB.
From a broader perspective, the report also provides information on general socio-economic trends affecting families with children. The report shows that the percentage of families with children living in low income has declined significantly from a peak of 17.6 per cent in 1996 to 11.6 per cent in 2004.
The Federal Government contributes to the initiative through the National Child Benefit Supplement. This supplement provides extra support to low-income families with children by topping up the monthly payments they receive through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) system.
In 2005-06, the Government of Canada provided $9.3 billion to low-and-middle-income families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This includes $3.2 billion through the NCB Supplement and $3.7 billion through the CCTB base benefit to 1.6 million low-income families including 2.8 million children. By 2007-08, the annual federal support delivered through the CCTB system is projected to reach $9.5 billion per year, including $3.7 billion through the NCB Supplement.
Provincial, territorial, First Nations, and other federal reinvestments and investments in NCB programs and services for low-income families with children were estimated to be $873.9 million in 2005–06. This funding supports programs and services such as child/day care initiatives, child benefits and earned-income supplements, early childhood and children at risk services, supplementary health benefits, and youth initiatives.
The goals of the NCB are to prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty, promote attachment to the labour market by ensuring that families will always be better off as a result of working, and reduce overlap and duplication. The regular release of reports on the NCB demonstrates the commitment of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services to report to Canadians on progress towards these goals.
The 2006 National Child Benefit Report can be viewed at: http://www.nationalchildbenefit.ca/ncb/Progress_Reports/2006/eng/index.shtml
In this document, references to joint federal/provincial/territorial reports do not include Quebec. While the Government of Quebec agrees with the basic principles of the National Child Benefit, it chose not to participate in this initiative because it wanted control over income support for children in Quebec. However, Quebec residents benefit from the increased Canada Child Tax Benefit and from important investments made by the Government of Quebec towards family and childhood services as part of Quebec’s Family Policy.
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