Let’s take a moment to celebrate a small win: On Wednesday the Manitoba provincial government announced a Family Affordability Package which includes an increase to the Basic Needs Benefit for EIA recipients. The letters you have sent to government leaders urging them to increase the Basic Needs Benefit have surely played a role in influencing this positive decision. Thank You.
To be clear, the increase is far less than what we have been asking for. People in EIA’s general assistance category and without dependent children will receive an additional $50 per month, while those in EIA’s disability category will receive an additional $25 per month. For folks in the general assistance category, this brings their income from 44% of the poverty line up to 47%.
Our position, and the position you have been helping us advocate, is that the Basic Needs Benefit needs to be at least 75% of the poverty line for vulnerable Manitobans to meet a basic standard of health and dignity. Clearly, this announcement falls far short.
Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction. It also sets a good precedent for future leaders. When election time rolls around, this will be the benchmark against which other candidates will have to measure up. With that in mind, we are calling on our supporters to send a message to all MLAs from all political parties, to let them know that while we support the increase, there is more work to be done.
Will you join us in writing to the Government of Manitoba while this decision is still fresh?
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