VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The first cheques from the federal Liberals’ Canada Child Benefit are set to go out tomorrow. There’s hope the income-tested plan will drop the national child poverty rate to a historic low. It’s expected to make a big difference in BC, which has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country.
All parents with children under the age of 17 will notice a difference. Families with yearly incomes of over $200,000 per year will no longer receive payments. Families with less than $30,000 in yearly income will see their monthly payments nearly double.
Federal Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the child poverty rate in Canada is expected to drop to 6.7 per cent from 11.2 per cent by this time next year.
Advocacy group First Call expects this will pull many BC families up above the poverty line. Provincial Coordinator for BC Adrienne Montani has found a lot to like here. “This is putting our collective taxes together in a really positive way, in a smart way that is income-tested so it targets those who need it most, but also gives some benefit to people who are working at the lower end of the scale as well… You won’t get it if you’re very high income and that’s as it should be because you don’t need it.”
Projections show that’s going to make a real difference according to Montani. “Even though costs, like housing and food and transportation, are going up, the living wage did not go up because the income from the child benefit actually helped neutralize some of that cost. We’re quite confident that this is a much more generous benefit.”
She would like to see the provincial government also offer families struggling a larger benefit.