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Kendall Worth: when it comes to poverty it is time to get loud

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Yes, this is right, the legislature is resuming on September 21,  and whereas the government is moving slow on resolving issues that really matter, like poverty and mental health, it is time to get loud.

Even though poverty and income assistance reform is my main interest in politics, I do want to acknowledge first the wage freezes imposed by this government on nurses, teachers, and civil servants, and its overall disrespect to unions.

If the Minister of Community Services and her government really care about poverty they better get moving.

At present the Liberal Government is proposing to implement a standard household rate in 2019 – 2020. At that time they need to do much better than increase the rate by 2% for regular clients, and 5% for persons with disabilities so that people on income assistance will be able to live better lives in their communities. Better yet, we need a guaranteed income, but I know that will never happen while this government is in power.

With income assistance rates only being increased one single time by $20 in the last four years clients continue to suffer in their day to day lives. Government needs to be paying better attention to what is actually happening on the ground to income assistance clients. Since the Liberal Government got elected in 2013, food bank usage increased.  

Furthermore, we need to end the claw backs from other sources of income including Canada pension, Disability and Child support payments.  

Overall they got to be doing a better job with the Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) transformation, and stop being so secretive about this transformation. More and more income assistance clients felt abused by the ESIA system while the secretive transformation was happening.  

In addition to everything I just brought up, I also been hearing since the liberals got elected people with mental illness have been finding it harder to access mental health services. They got to put focus on improving the mental health system.

I will end this article by saying this time around they better do a better job.

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