The food allowance rates for social assistance clients will increase by up to 17 per cent depending on the age and number of people in a family on September 1, says Family and Human Services Minister Doug Currie.
“Government recognizes that food costs are increasing which causes additional challenges for Islanders struggling to make ends meet,” said Minister Currie. “This is an important step in government’s commitment to support those who need it most.”
“We are making an annual investment of $796,000, recognizing that caring for those in need is not only fundamental to the success of our people but to our communities,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan.
“Government is committed to reducing poverty on Prince Edward Island and will continue to make investments to assist low-income Islanders.”
Other components of the provincial strategy to help address issues faced by low income Islanders include:
• Recent changes to the Income Tax Act that will reduce or eliminate provincial income taxes for 12,000 low-income Islanders;
• Excluding the federal Universal Child Care benefit when calculating eligibility for social assistance programs, keeping the full monthly benefit of $120 for preschool aged children and $60 for school aged children, in the pockets of parents and caregivers; and
• A recent policy revision to exempt student loan monies in the calculation of the eligibility for the provincial Child Care Subsidy.
The Department of Family and Human Services provides Social Assistance benefits to approximately 10,000 distinct Islanders throughout the year. These benefits are primarily used to assist with the cost of food and shelter. Prior to 2014 the last increase to food rates was in 2009 and before that it had been 10 years since an increase.
This is an important step in government’s commitment to reducing poverty on Prince Edward Island and ensuring that support is provided to those who need it most.
Food rate increases are as follows:
(Current: Sept 2014 – Aug 2015) (effective: Sept 2015)
Singles 1 Adult $173; $190
2-3 person family 1 Adult $157; $173
2 Adults $276; $319
Child 12-17 $171; $184
Child 0-11 $118; $122
4+ person family 1 Adult $134; $148
2 Adults $249; $291
Child 12-17 $159; $168
Child 0-11 $107; $110