NDP Government Invests in Rent Assist, Education & Training to Support Low-income Families: Swan

May 1, 2015

Earlier today, our NDP government announced new Budget 2015 initiatives for low-income Manitobans, including expanding the Rent Assist benefit to a maximum 75% of the Median Market Rate (MMR).

“All Manitoba families want to build a better life for themselves and for their children,” said Andrew Swan, MLA for Minto. “Helping low-income Manitobans find a stable place to live, while providing the education and child care supports they need, helps people change their circumstances—not just for a month, or a year, but for the rest of their lives.”

Budget 2015 provides a number of practical pathways out of poverty. Highlights include:

  • Rent Assist: Increasing Manitoba’s shelter benefit for all low-income Manitobans (receiving EIA and not) to a maximum of 75% of MMR, two years ahead of schedule.

  • Adult Learning and Literacy: Introducing a full-time literacy program at the Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre, in response to increased interest and demand from Manitobans on social assistance.

  • Early Learning and Child Care: Investing in 900 newly funded child care spaces and in higher wages for the child care workforce.

  • Strong Minimum Wage: Raising the minimum wage this October to $11 per hour.

  • Support for Skilled Newcomers: Helping more newcomers get their credentials recognized and get better jobs.

  • Support for Parents: Introducing support for two new parent-child programs in high-needs communities to help children succeed early on in school.

  • Social Enterprise Strategy: Promoting training and work opportunities for low-income Manitobans.

  • Mental Health Strategy: Creating a new $2-million Children and Youth Mental Health Strategy to promote mental health, prevent illness and strengthen available resources.

  • Improved Food Security: Making it easier for families to get affordable, healthy food.

Swan noted that the Province also continues to make progress on developing 1,000 units of new social and affordable housing units over three years.

“When the NDP came into government in 1999, social assistance rates had been slashed by $150 a month,” added Swan. “But we know that cutting services only traps more Manitobans in poverty. Our government is investing in income supports, education and training opportunities, because the best way out of poverty is with a good job.”

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