Nova Scotia Budget 2024 should improve income supports to reduce poverty
Maytree’s written submission to the Nova Scotia government’s Budget 2024 consultations calls for increasing and improving welfare incomes. This will reduce the depth of poverty and ensure all Nova Scotians can live a life of dignity.
In the past three years, Nova Scotians have experienced high inflation, a steep increase in housing costs, and, in general, decreasing standards of living. The Government of Nova Scotia has made small increases to welfare incomes and provided one-time benefits.
However, Maytree’s Welfare in Canada and Social Assistance Summaries reports show the state of poverty in Nova Scotia is getting worse. Nearly 43,000 Nova Scotians live in deep poverty and welfare incomes are well below the poverty line. More action is needed to realize the right to an adequate standard living for all Nova Scotians.
Maytree recommends that the Nova Scotia government:
- Increase benefit amounts for people receiving Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA).
- Index Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) and other income support benefits and tax credits.
- Increase the base earned income exemption for social assistance recipients.
- Establish an unearned income exemption for social assistance recipients in line with other jurisdictions.
- Commit to fully exempting the forthcoming Canada Disability Benefit for all social assistance recipients.
- Augment part of the Canada Workers Benefit into the proposed Canada Working-Age Supplement.