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Premier Calls For Increases To Income Assistance And Disability Payments

BC Premier John Horgan says he will push for permanent increases to income and disability assistance

By Rob Shaw

Premier John Horgan says he will personally push for a permanent increase for people on income or disability assistance in B.C., to help soothe anger over his government’s decision to cut COVID-19 benefit payments to those people.

Horgan responded to a second day of questions at the legislature over the cuts, before telling media that a monthly increase for more than 230,000 low-income British Columbians, disabled individuals and seniors is on the horizon for the next budget in April.

“I will be advocating for a permanent increase,” said Horgan. “I am one voice at the cabinet table. The minister of finance makes the ultimate decision on this, that’s how our system works.”

Poverty and disability groups have sharply criticized the Horgan government for its recent decision to halve $300 monthly COVID-19 supplements to income assistance and disability payments starting in January. The lesser $150 monthly payments will end entirely in March.

Advertisement “Thank goodness we have advocates in the community that are saying loudly and clearly to government, we need to do better,” said Horgan.

“I agree with them and we will do better, subject to our ability to bring forward a bunch of initiatives on a range of subjects in the budget process which is the responsible thing for the government to do.”


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