The BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is accepting submissions on social and economic priorities for the provincial government. We just sent in our submission reiterating the call for a poverty reduction plan.
You should too! Here’s the website where you can make a video, audio or written submission. The deadline is tomorrow Friday, Oct. 17, which coincidentally is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty!
We call on the Government of British Columbia to launch a comprehensive and accountable poverty reduction plan aimed at dramatically reducing homelessness and poverty in our province, including commitments to specific policy measures and concrete actions in each of the following policy areas:
1. Significantly increase welfare and disability rates, and index them to inflation; end the child support clawback.
2. Improve the earnings and working conditions of those in the low-wage workforce.
3. Address the needs of those most likely to be living in poverty.
4. Address homelessness and adopt a comprehensive affordable housing and supportive housing plan.
5. Provide universal publicly-funded child care by implementing the $10/day child care plan from Child Care Advocates of BC and Early Childhood Educators of BC.
6. Enhanced support for training and education for low-income people.
7. Enhance community mental health and home support services, and expand integrated approaches to prevention and health promotion services.
A comprehensive approach needs to boost the incomes of those living in poverty, but also build the social infrastructure, public services and assets that are vital to providing a path out of poverty and improving quality of life. If we commit to a bold plan, a dramatic reduction in poverty and homelessness within a few short years is perfectly achievable.