Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Introduces New Poverty Reduction Plan 

Yesterday, NL’s premier, Dr. Andrew Furey, announced a comprehensive poverty reduction plan, aiming to enhance the well-being of residents. 

The three-year phased initiative aligns with the province’s goal of becoming one of Canada’s healthiest provinces by 2031, supported by a significant annual investment that will grow to $85 million after three years. In addition to the $900 million allocated in Budget 2023 for social programming.

The plan focuses on four key areas:

1. Reducing Childhood Poverty: 

  • Expansion of the Prenatal-Infant Nutritional Supplement up to age five.
  • A 300% increase in the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit.
  • Additional funding to ensure school lunch programs in all Pre-Kindergarten and K-9 schools.

2. Creating Meaningful and Sustainable Employment:

  • Continuation of the province-wide Employment Stability Pilot.
  • Enhanced programming for training and connecting non-employment insurance-eligible individuals to employment.

3. Improving Income:

  • Immediate increase of $50 per month for the comfort allowance in the Income Support program.
  • Implementation of a new targeted Basic Income Program for individuals aged 60 to 64 currently receiving Income Support and the Community Supports Program.

4. Supporting Seniors:

  • Implementation of a second targeted Basic Income Program for individuals aged 60 to 64, receiving an increase in payments to match federal seniors benefits.
  • Upcoming release of a targeted poverty reduction plan for seniors based on stakeholder conversations and data acquisition.

The plan involves community stakeholders, Indigenous and municipal governments, and experts, reflecting a collaborative approach. Premier Furey emphasized the importance of ongoing work for seniors, with further measures anticipated to help them cope with the higher cost of living. 

The announcement included the presence of Minister Paul Pike and representatives from the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and Stella’s Circle.

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