British Columbians see their assistance cheques reduced by NDP: BC Liberals

THE BC Liberals say that in the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbians who depend on disability and income assistanceV are seeing their cheques slashed without warning because the NDP has removed federal Employment Insurance (EI) as an income asset exemption.

“The NDP said that they exempted EI as an income asset from disability and income assistance to ensure British Columbians depending on that help would have additional support during the pandemic,” said Opposition Critic for Social Development and Poverty Reduction Dan Davies. “To retroactively remove EI as an exemption effective November 20, 2021— when the government’s own website still says it is exempt — is going to be a worrisome shock ​to thousands of British Columbians who could see their assistance cheques suddenly reduced this month without explanation.”

The NDP government has been heavily criticized by the BC Liberal Caucus and social support advocates for its mismanagement of social assistance programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including clawing back the $300 per month supplemental income and disability assistance, ​which led to a protest at the BC Legislature last March.

“The challenges of the pandemic are still very much with us and continue to disproportionately impact people living with disabilities ​and those living in poverty,” added Davies. “This latest decision by the NDP will only pile ​more stress onto some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. The NDP must exempt EI as an income asset from income and disability assistance and restore the full $300 monthly supplemental disability and income assistance today.”