Government abandons key Poverty Reduction components

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says government has abandoned its Poverty Reduction Strategy and as a result thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will remain unable to benefit from the economic boom times in the province.

“Our so-called Golden Age of economic growth is not trickling down to the 25,000 households on Income Support,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“People in poverty need a basic decent income to be able to afford housing, food and other necessities, before they can even take advantage of work or training opportunities.

“I ask the Minister, why did the Poverty Reduction Strategy drop the annual indexing of Income Support to the Consumer Price Index?”

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Indexing Income Support would at least have allowed the families most in need some stability for household budgeting, says Michael, but a key factor in complete independence is access to education and training.

“When the Poverty Reduction Strategy was first announced in 2006, Goal Five promised greater access to Adult Basic Education. But this year Government cut ABE from public college campuses across the province, and now hundreds can no longer enroll,” she said.

“I ask the Minister why has this goal disappeared from the Poverty Reduction Strategy?

“Goal 5 of the Poverty Reduction Strategy also promised greater access to literacy. But the promised Adult Literacy Strategy has never surfaced, and there are people who can’t get access to literacy upgrading to train for a trade. Why does the Poverty Reduction Strategy still not include an Adult Literacy Strategy?”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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