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Little regard for the poorest of the poor in the 2015/16 Nova Scotia Budget

by Community Society to End Poverty - Nova Scotia


Media Release: April 9, 2015

 

LITTLE REGARD FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR IN THE 2015/16 NOVA SCOTIA BUDGET

The Community Society to End Poverty, with a Network of over 70 agencies and organizations concerned about poverty in Nova Scotia, is very disappointed that for the second year in a row there will be no increase in welfare incomes in 2015/16.

Given increases in the cost of living over the past two years, especially for necessities such as shelter, food, and energy, the poorest of the poor—people living on welfare—will once again have to absorb higher costs; this on incomes that are already between 30% and 60% below the poverty line.

We are pleased to see a modest increase in the Housing Nova Scotia budget some of which is likely to be directed towards homelessness through the Housing First initiative. These expenditures, however, are unlikely to help individuals and families who are currently poorly housed and forced to live on meagre ESIA shelter allowances that have not increased in years.

The budget for Education and Early Childhood Development includes welcome increased support for early childhood education, caps on class sizes in the early years, and support for early intervention programs. However, we would point out that income is the best predictor of success in school and that sadly, children living in poverty are much less likely to succeed. Unless the province takes seriously the need for a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy that includes reducing the appalling level of child and family poverty, extra money for education will mainly benefit middle and upper income earners.

 

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Topics: Poverty
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