KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The belief is in the air that during this upcoming session of the Nova Scotia legislature, which starts on September 26, the government will set the stage to introduce the Standard Household Rate.
Even though this is a good move according to government politicians and bureaucrats, those of us who are directly affected by the Income Assistance system and their advocates don’t think so.
For one thing, it will hardly mean more money, if at all. Community Services has said that the increase that is coming is only going to be around $40, depending on your situation of course
Someone who is receiving the current $810 (meaning $535 shelter allowance and $235 personal allowance) may see their allowance increase to $850 a month. Considering that many income assistance recipients are paying rents of $600 a month and up these days, this increase is still not going to be enough to cover the cost of living.
As well, bureaucratic nonsense for getting special diet allowances will remain a problem.
Until 2018, when they started giving free buspasses to income assistance recipients, clients who lived in Halifax were having bureaucratic problems with getting approved for transportation allowances as well.
(Of course people on income assistance who don’t live in Halifax still have those problems.)
Ok, if Community Services was able to come up with a solution for transportation without making them go through the bureaucratic nonsense of getting approved, then why can they not do the same for special diet allowances?
I await the Government’s answer on this one.
In the story Raise the income assistance rates for the sake of our dignity I suggest that $2500 per month would be a far better amount.
Since this story got posted, I have gotten into the odd argument with people telling me that working people will not support the need for the amount I talked about in this story. I will admit that an increase to $2500 is a bit steep.
However, if that is so, why not give that amount first to persons with disabilities who are on income assistance who cannot work?
This way people with disabilities can live better lives, is my argument here.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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