21 Mar Helping Nova Scotians In Need
As Liberals, we know that a province is only as strong as its people. We’re committed to helping our fellow Nova Scotians through programs that help keep money in their pockets, while giving them the resources they need to support their lives. Numbers recently released by Statistics Canada are encouraging, showing that these programs are working to help lift our most vulnerable, like seniors and single-parent families, out of poverty. That being said, there is troubling data showing areas which need a further look – we are currently working with Statistics Canada to better understand those numbers.
Oftentimes, a stable career can have a meaningful impact on financial security. That’s why our government is supporting income assistance clients who pursue employment through the Standard Household Rate, a new wage exemption that will let them keep more of their earnings while they enter the workforce. Through a joint initiative with HRM, we’ve eased their commute by giving free monthly bus passes to 8,500 Nova Scotians on income assistance, and have raised the minimum wage to $11.55 per hour, with an increase of 55 cents annually for the next three years. We want to continue providing supports for those looking to enter the workforce in search of employment.
In 2018, our government doubled the Poverty Reduction Tax Credit from $250 to $500 annually and put more money in the pockets of single parents by ending the clawback of child support payments from income assistance. Being a single parent is hard enough; oftentimes affected by low wages and disproportionate poverty. We’re hopeful these reforms will help alleviate some of those financial stressors and strengthen economic security.
The wait time for public housing has also been slashed by 25 per cent since 2015, and our Liberal Government will be adding an additional 1,500 rent supplements over the next two years.
Basic security and self-confidence are integral to a bettered well-being. That’s why we introduced the Personal Items Allowance, which gives $101 a month to people living temporarily in homeless shelters and transition homes, so they can purchase basic amenities that are essential to daily lives.
The Heating Assistance Rebate program helps low-income residents with the cost of home heating, and the HomeWarming program provides an energy assessment so those on a fixed income can have efficiency upgrades to their home at no extra cost.
These are just a few ways our government is working to help Nova Scotian’s in need.