Seniors frightened of budget impact, says Rogers
St. John’s Centre NDP MHA Gerry Rogers hosted a wildly successful town hall last night, and brought some of the most pressing concerns raised there to the House of Assembly today. Rogers says seniors, in particular, are deeply concerned about coping with the punitive austerity measures in Budget 2016.
“Last night at my town hall, seniors talked about wanting to do their share to help pull us out of this deficit, but they said they don’t have an extra penny,” Rogers said in the House of Assembly today. “The increase to the Seniors Annual Benefit of $250 merely offsets cancellation of the Home Heating Rebate, and only seniors making under $16k will get an annual income supplement of $266, not even covering the extra taxes, extra fees and hikes.
“They are dealing with rising cost of heat, food, transportation, and they’ve lost the Adult Dental Program and over the counter drug program. They are frightened!
“I ask the minister will she reinstate the 65+ Dental Program and over the counter drug program to help lift our seniors out of poverty?”
Rogers says seniors at her Town Hall talked about uncontrolled rent increases as just one of the financial uncertainties they face, and asked why this province, unlike most of Canada, does not have rent controls.
“It’s been almost 4 years now since public consultation, where is the new Residential Tenancies Act? When is he going to release it?” asked Rogers.