Halifax, NS – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-NS is concerned that even more people will be left behind because of holes in our safety net that the Nova Scotia budget 2022-23 does not fix.
As Christine Saulnier, Director of the CCPA-Nova Scotia says, “The government has the fiscal capacity to make the needed investments and instead has wasted this capacity. Addressing the health care crisis requires not just investing in health care, but getting at the non-medical factors that influence our health outcomes--the conditions in which we are born, grow, work, live and age account for 30-55% of those outcomes.”
“What does it say when one income tax cut that has no evidence that it will make any difference will cost as much as $100 million, which is roughly equal to the combined and critically important investments in affordable housing, the NS Child Benefit and support for persons with disabilities?” asks Saulnier.
“It could have addressed the housing crisis by making a significant investment in permanent, actual affordable housing instead of continuing to subsidize those who use housing for profit-maximizing. This investment goes furthest if it is in the non-profit community-based sector that has been doing the heavy lifting for decades, and not in 20-year deals with the private sector,” says Catherine Leviten-Reid, CCPA-NS Research Associate, and CBU professor, and one of the contributors to the CCPA-NS’ housing for all report.
“The investments in this budget are not likely to move the needle on child poverty and certainly not on poverty generally. People on income assistance are facing inflation of at least 5% which means a cut to their purchasing power with only a one-time $150 payment to support them right now. The increase to the NS Child benefit only amounts to a maximum of $350 a year per child. Families are in deep poverty in our province needing many thousands of dollars more per year to reach the poverty line,” says Lesley Frank, CCPA-NS Research Associate, Acadia U professor and primary author of the NS Child and Family Poverty Report Card.
“Life is grueling for too many Nova Scotians. We try to remain hopeful – in our work, in our hearts. But days like this are tough. When those who could deliver real hope, solutions, and truly affordable housing fail to come through for folks, we do feel a degree of defeat,” says Sheri Lecker, Executive Director of Adsum for Women & Children.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lauren Matheson, 902-579-9555 (cell) or [email protected]
Access our blog on priorities for the budget and our analysis of the government’s fiscal capacity.
The CCPA-NS is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice, as well as environmental sustainability.