Premier Horgan announces $100 increase to income assistance and disability rates

THE John Horgan government announced on Thursday that it is taking swift action to reduce poverty in British Columbia by lifting income assistance and disability assistance by $100 a month.

It said that the Liberal government left B.C. with the highest poverty rate in the country. Reversing that trend will take time, but this increase – which needs 60 days to take effect — is a good first step. This lift will move B.C. from one of the lowest assistance rates to the third-highest among Canadian provinces.

“Lifting families out of poverty starts with raising income assistance rates and assistance for people with disabilities. We’re raising the rates to support people and help them live in dignity,” said Premier John Horgan.

Under the Liberal government, income assistance rates were frozen for 10 years. Starting with the September 20, 2017 cheque, people on income assistance and disability will receive an additional $100 a month.

The new monthly rates will be $1,133 for a person receiving disability assistance and $710 for a person on income assistance.

This lift comes only days after the new government created a new ministry and parliamentary secretary tasked with reducing poverty in B.C.

“Raising the rates is only the beginning. Our government is committed to bring forward a comprehensive poverty reduction plan to lift children and families out of poverty,” said Horgan.