Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 1, 2008

Government Increases Income Support Benefits

In accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), effective today April 1, the Williams Government, as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), is increasing basic income support benefits by $2.4 million annually.

"Measures that strengthen the social safety net form a key part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. "The Consumer Price Index initiative, now in its second year, ensures that cost of living increases are factored into the amount an individual or family receives as part of their basic income support benefits."

This is a 1.5 per cent increase over 2007 benefit levels. Since 2006, the Williams Government has raised basic income support benefits by 8.3 per cent or $12.8 million in total. This includes a five per cent base increase in July 2006, and a 1.8 per cent CPI linked increase last year. As a result, a single parent family now receives an additional $576 annually.

The PRS is focused on reducing, alleviating and preventing poverty in the province. Over a 10-year period, Newfoundland and Labrador intends to move from the jurisdiction with the highest poverty rates to one with the lowest in Canada.

"Another important goal of the Poverty Reduction Strategy is improved earned incomes," said Minister Skinner. "In addition to indexing benefits, government is also reducing barriers to work for individuals in low income by providing prescription drug coverage and job start benefits."


Media contact:
Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623

2008 04 01                                                    3:20 p.m.

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