MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada is encouraged to see the announcement of the new Canada Workers Benefit in the 2018 federal budget. This positive step responds to recommendations of the Canadian food bank network, and will provide important new supports to workers with low incomes.
The Canada Workers Benefit is an evolution of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), a refundable tax credit that supplements the earnings of low-income workers. This initiative helps vulnerable individuals transition from social assistance to work. It is particularly important for adults without children, a population for whom few government supports exist.
In HungerCount 2016, and in our Nowhere to Turn report, Food Banks Canada called on the federal government to increase maximum WITB benefit amounts, and to raise the maximum income levels at which individuals and families are eligible. We are very pleased to see that the 2018 federal budget proposes an increase to benefit amounts, as well as an expansion of the program to a larger population.
"These changes will have a positive effect on people struggling to get a foothold in the labour market," said Shawn Pegg, Director of Policy and Research at Food Banks Canada. "It can be very difficult to move from welfare to work, and the new Canada Workers Benefit will help people make the transition. It means that more people will be working, which is incredibly important for the more than 850,000 Canadians who access food banks each month."
The Canada Workers Benefit follows on the heels of the recently-announced National Housing Strategy, and foreshadows the upcoming release of a national poverty reduction strategy. The federal government has made positive changes to reduce poverty and the need for food banks, and Food Banks Canada has high hopes that the forthcoming poverty reduction strategy will be a major launching point to further improve the lives of vulnerable Canadians.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is a national charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. We support a network of Provincial Associations, Affiliate food banks, and food agencies that work at the community level to relieve hunger. Together, our network assists over 850,000 Canadians who turn to food banks each month. Our work is focused on three core areas: raising food and funds to share with our network; delivering programs and services to food banks to support their work and develop self-sufficiency in Canadians living with hunger; and influencing policy through research, awareness raising, and advocacy to find long term solutions to hunger.
SOURCE Food Banks Canada
For further information: Media contact: Shawn Pegg, Food Banks Canada, 416-312-0520 (mobile) or (905) 602-5234, ext. 231 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org .