Reducing Welfare is Not an Option

A report released December 6 by the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) shows conclusively that income assistance (welfare) rates in BC are not sufficient to meet recipients’ needs.

The report, entitled Falling Behind: A Comparison of Living Costs and Income Assistance Rates in BC (in PDF) calculates the gap between welfare benefits and what it really costs to live in this province. It provides detailed costs for food, clothing, personal care, transportation, shelter and other costs of daily living. According to the report, welfare benefits only cover 45-65% of the cost of daily living depending on the family type. SPARC feels reductions to income assistance of any kind, whether in rates, types of benefits, or eligibility, must not be considered by the provincial government, as the government is already failing to meet its obligations to these citizens.