The current income assistance system in BC is fundamentally broken. People in desperate need are being denied assistance, and if lucky enough to navigate all the structural and administrative barriers to welfare and have their application accepted, they are subjected to a life of “survival,” struggling to meet the most basic needs of shelter and food.
What’s in the government’s TogetherBC Plan?
- Small increases to income and disability assistance and increases to crisis supplements: basic welfare is now $760/month; disability $1235/month.
- Some of the cruelest elements of the system were eliminated or limited.
- Expanding access to Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers Program, including allowing access for people with addictions.
What Priority Actions are We Still Fighting For?
- Raise welfare and disability rates to 75% of the poverty line (Market Basket Measure) immediately and to 100% of the line within 2 years.
- Continue to work on a culture shift within the Ministry that treats people with respect and dignity, including eliminating clawbacks and arbitrary barriers that discourage, delay and deny people in need.
For more information, please read the following resources:
- Take Action for a strong Poverty Reduction Strategy
- ABC plan policy brief
- “What’s in the Government’s Plan? What are we still fighting for?” poster
- The Raise the Rates Coalition website
- Welfare in Canada, 2017 (Maytree Foundation, November 2018)
- Shifting the Culture at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Raise the Rates, Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods, the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, Together Against Poverty Society, West Coast LEAF and UFCW 1518, December 2018)
- Accessibility at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, November 2017)
- Sharing Our Realities: Life on Disability Assistance in British Columbia (Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, April 2017)
- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s submission to the Poverty Reduction Consultations
- Long Overdue: Why BC needs a poverty reduction plan