Poverty reduction

We want everyone to be able to build a good life for themselves and their family.

We’re working with families and community activists to invest in targeted supports that help people out of poverty and into good jobs.

  • The last time they were in government, Brian Pallister’s Conservatives cut income assistance rates by $150/month and clawed back the National Child Benefit from parents. Our NDP government reinstated those benefits and invested in targeted strategies, such as the Rewarding Work strategy. It’s making a difference: over 14,500 Manitobans have left social assistance since 2007.

  • Last year we invested $22 million into our Manitoba Rent Assist benefit – which significantly increased housing support for people on social assistance and can move with them as they moved into the workforce. Thanks to this program, rent support for low-income Manitobans will increase to 75% of the median market rent.

  • Raising minimum wage helps many low-income, working Manitobans. Our minimum wage is now at $11.00 per hour, which means a single parent in Manitoba earning minimum wage has a bigger after-tax, take-home cheque than they would in any other province.

We know there’s more work to do, but we’re continuing to work with families and communities to make Manitoba an inclusive and affordable place for everyone.

Poverty Reduction Stats and Facts

We know there’s more work to do—with continued education and training, housing supports and affordable child care spaces.

But right now, the biggest threat to families is Brian Pallister’s plan to cut over $500 million from our provincial budget, which would mean cancelling key supports that are helping keep Manitoba families out of poverty.

When Brian Pallister was a senior cabinet minister in Manitoba’s last Conservative government, he introduced a welfare snitch line, froze the minimum wage seven times and refused to build any affordable housing at all.

Our NDP government is committed to keep investing in the supports people need to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Fewer Families Are Living in Poverty

Fewer Manitoba families are living in poverty: between 2012 and 2013 there were 5,000 fewer Manitobans living in poverty, 4,000 of which are children.

We’re encouraged that our investments in poverty reduction are paying off, but we know there’s still more work to do.

In spring 2015, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced that rent support for low-income Manitobans would increase to 75% of the median market rent. This helps low-income Manitobans afford a safe, stable place to live.

Our Plan

We’re supporting Manitobans on income assistance to get education and training so they can get good jobs.

Our top three poverty reduction priorities are housing, food security, and the building blocks for employment. It would be impossible to invest in these areas with Pallister’s plan for half a billion dollars’ worth of across-the-board cuts.

  • We ended the Conservative clawback of the National Child Benefit from low-income families and increased their supports through Rent Assist, the Prenatal Benefit, the Manitoba Child Benefit, Children’s Opti-care and Nourishing Potential.

    • The Manitoba Child Benefit provides up to $420 tax-free per child, per year to help low-income families pay for their children’s needs.

  • Instead of the Conservative strategy of zero investment in affordable housing, we have committed this year to building 1,000 more social and affordable housing units, in addition to the 3,000 units we completed last year.

  • We are supporting Winnipeg’s first Community Food Centre at ACCESS NorWest, an innovative initiative that is helping combat hunger by bringing people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food.

    • Also, our Northern Healthy Foods Initiative and increases to the northern food allowance are helping northern families buy healthy food at a reasonable cost.

  • We’ve created another 14,000 funded, affordable child care spaces since 1999 to give our kids a strong start and help families be successful, whether their plan is to work or further their education.

  • We will continue to work with the Poverty Reduction Council on the goal of ending homelessness.

  • This summer we introduced new legislation to revamp Manitoba’s child support laws and build on the Province’s efforts to fight child poverty by ensuring children in single-parent families are receiving the proper financial supports.

October 2015