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May 26, 2006
(Human Resources, Labour and Employment)

Province reaffirms commitment to poverty reduction

Paul Shelley, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, is pleased to announce the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has decided that Income Support (social assistance) payments will not be affected by the introduction of the new federal Universal Child Care Benefit.

"Our decision means that for families receiving Income Support, the new monthly federal child care allowance which they receive will not be deducted from their Income Support benefits," said Minister Shelley. "This benefit will support families to offset the costs of caring for their young children. This exemption is also consistent with government�s commitment to address poverty in the province."

The federal government�s Universal Child Care Benefit will come into effect on July 1, 2006. This will involve a monthly benefit of $100 paid directly to all parents for each child under six years old. Other provinces have made similar decisions in relation to the Universal Child Care Benefit.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is developing an integrated poverty reduction strategy. Budget 2006 included a significant investment to help people move ahead and break the cycle of poverty. This year funds were provided for a five per cent increase in the basic Income Support rates effective July 1, 2006 and expansion of the prescription drug program in early 2007 to provide coverage to more families with lower incomes. The full strategy will be released later this spring.

Media contact: Ed Moriarity, Communications, (709) 729-4062,

2006 05 26                          9:35 a.m.

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