Increased supports for low income workers and families with children will have positive impacts
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 25, 2017 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada commends Finance Minister Bill Morneau and the federal government for social policy changes announced in its Fall Economic Statement, presented yesterday. We are particularly excited about two announcements related to the Working Income Tax Benefit and the Canada Child Benefit.
The Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) provides cash payments to working Canadians with very low incomes. It is an especially important resource for individuals trying to make the transition from welfare to work. Currently, many low income earners do not qualify for the benefit. Further, the WITB provides only a very modest income support to those who do receive it.
Food Banks Canada has strongly advocated for an increase of WITB benefit amounts, and for an increase of the maximum income levels at which individuals and families can qualify for the program. Our recent report, Nowhere to Turn: Single Adults Living with Poverty in Canada, made the case that these changes are particularly important for low income working-age singles – one of Canada's most vulnerable population groups.
The federal government's decision to enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit by $500 million annually starting in 2019 – a nearly 50% increase – is a significant step forward.
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment that is made to families with children under 18 years of age. It is an essential part of Canadian social policy that reduces poverty, supports parents to enter and remain in the workforce, and is strongly targeted at families with the lowest incomes.
The federal government's decision to index the CCB to inflation in July 2018, so that the benefit does not lose value over time, is an important and welcome change.
"This shows that the federal government is listening and willing to make change," said Mimi Lowi-Young, Interim Executive Director of Food Banks Canada. "These announcements will make a significant difference in the lives of the people who turn to food banks to make ends meet. While there is still more work to be done, these changes will make life better for Canadian individuals and families."
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of food-related organizations in every province and territory, which assists more than 860,000 Canadians each month. Together, this network shares over 200 million pounds of essential, safe, quality food annually, provides social programs that help to foster self-sufficiency, and advocates for policy change that will help create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Visit foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
Relieving hunger today. Preventing hunger tomorrow.
SOURCE Food Banks Canada
For further information: Media contact: Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, 647-242-5919 (mobile) or (905) 602-5234, ext. 228 (office), [email protected]