Brian Pallister Doesn’t Care About Low-Income Working Families: Altemeyer

NDP Plan more inclusive than narrow Conservative promises

April 23, 2015

Brian Pallister has once again turned his back on low-income families by refusing to recognize that rental benefits also need to support people who are getting training and jobs.

“We believe all low-income families should receive extra support, whether they are on social assistance or not,” said Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolseley. “It is unfortunate that Brian Pallister wants to shut out low-income working families.”

Manitoba’s NDP government has committed to increasing rent support rates to 75 per cent of median market rent through the new Rent Assist program. Last year this government made a $20 million down payment on this commitment.

It was noted at today’s Make Poverty History rally that further enhancements to the program will be announced on April 30th in Budget 2015. Altemeyer made a point of thanking the many dedicated community activists and volunteers who came out to support anti-poverty initiatives at the rally.

“Growing our workforce means coming to terms with the fact that too many Manitobans have been confined to the margins for too long,” continued Altemeyer. “The best way out of poverty is a good job. Our government is focused on providing benefits and training that encourage the transition from social assistance to work, while still increasing benefits for those who currently cannot work.”

Manitoba’s NDP plan is better than Brian Pallister’s vague promises because it is available to all low income Manitobans, not just those on social assistance, and is paired with education and training supports.

Altemeyer noted that Brian Pallister and the PCs cannot be trusted when it comes to helping low income Manitobans.

“When we came to government in 1999, social assistance rates had been slashed by $150 a month. Welfare snitch lines, Workfare and clawing back child benefits made up the Filmon’s government’s poverty reduction plan,” Altemeyer said.

“After promising to raise the EIA Rental Allowance to 75 per cent of median market rent, Brian Pallister has repeatedly backed away from his commitment, by limiting it to only Manitobans with disabilities,” Altemeyer added. “Brian Pallister should come clean about who loses under his plan.”