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BC Election 2017 - Income Supports

Download the Income Security Issue SummaryOur Vision

No British Columbian with a developmental disability lives in poverty.

Why it’s important

Some 107,000 British Columbians are struggling to live on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefits, which will increase by $50 to $1,033/month effective April 2017. Most people with developmental disabilities who rely on PWD benefits are unable to find enough work, in part due to systemic employment barriers, and are therefore forced to live in lifelong poverty. A new report shows that in most parts of BC, PWD rates only cover about 60% of the cost of basic living necessities.  This is inhumane, unnecessary and discriminatory.

Poverty increases health and social problems, including poor nutrition, housing and healthcare access; stress, loneliness, and alienation. These entirely preventable effects cost society more than funding adequate income and employment supports that would empower British Columbians with developmental disabilities to live with dignity and share the benefits of truly belonging in our province.

What we need

INCREASE THE PWD BENEFIT IMMEDIATELY TO $1,200 PER MONTH to help rates catch up after a long period of no real increases. Reducing the gap with actual living costs will empower people who can’t work because of their disability to still live in dignity as valued citizens.

INDEX PWD RATES: Indexing to inflation will ensure PWD rates keep pace with the rising cost of living so that future generations are not forced back into chronic poverty.

IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS: Greater provincial investment in programs that empower job seekers with disabilities to enhance essential skills, obtain and maintain employment. This will ensure more people with developmental disabilities who want to work can enjoy the fulfilment and independence of employment, while reducing reliance on PWD benefits. 

Question to candidates

If elected, will you support an immediate increase in PWD monthly rates to $1,200/month, with indexing tied to inflation in future years?

If elected, will you support increased investment in employment programs for people with disabilities, in consultation with community partners?

Hashtags

#raisetherates #BCweALLbelong

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