SelfAdvocatenet.com update

B.C. Budget September update NDP budget 

Building a Better B.C. for Everyone

THIS IS A GOOD START MORE IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE LIVES THOSE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE MORE CHOICE PROSPERITY

IN JOBS, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND INCOME TO HELP WITH BASIC COST OF LIVING IN BC THIS START BUT MORE IS NEEDED.

 

 

 

just click on picture PDF version highlights of budget if want get directly

 Media Presentation of BC Budget by Hon Minister of Finance Carol James of the NDP
 

 

Here is some highlights relates to people with disabilities in this budget

All people receiving social assistance will have their earnings exemption increased by $200 month
with the Budget 2017 Update. This increase will help those receiving assistance by allowing them to earn
additional money to support re-entry into the workforce. It is a first step towards a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.
Budget 2017 Update provides $20 million in 2017/18 for new child care investments.
This funding will increase our spending on early childhood development and child care to $330 million this year and will support over 4,000 new child care spaces.
INCOME AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE RATES
The Budget 2017 Update funds the $100 per month increase to income and disability assistance rates announced in July of this year.
The increase takes effect in October 2017 and is the first meaningful increase in 10 years. Poverty is a complex issue and we know there is
more to do. Increasing the rates is an important first step to help lift vulnerable individuals and families out of poverty and make B.C. a better place to live for everyone.
The first steps in government’s long-term strategy to address housing afford-ability and homelessness are being made in this budget update:
Over $200 million in capital investment to help build over 1,700 affordable rental units across the province to assist low-to-moderate income renters,
seniors and adults with mental health challenges or developmental disabilities.
»Over $290 million in funding over 2 years to build 2,000 new modular housing units and over $170 million over three years to operate them and
provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
As well, starting in September 2017,the Healthy Kids program
will help low-income families with improved dental rates as well as expanding services covered to include hearing aids.
A new investment of $189 million over three years through a federal-B.C. agreement will help our seniors with improved home and residential care.
These are the first steps in improving services so that more vulnerable British Columbians have opportunities to reach their full potential.
The Residential Tenancy Branch
will receive an additional $7 million over the next three years to make sure renters are treated fairly.
With low rental vacancy rates across the province the branch needs additional resources to make sure both renters and landlords understand their rights
and responsibilities. The funds will go to reducing service wait times and establishing a new compliance unit.
Here you can go to by clicking on BC Govt Website to get full details on Sept update BC Budget and
New Finance Minister Hon Carole James announced today
As well headlines News on BC Budget from Inclusion BC & Disability Alliance B.C.

 

 

 

NEWS RELEASE Long overdue investments in people, affordability welcomed

Inclusion BC & Disability Alliance BC welcome ‘long overdue’ investments in people, affordability in September BC Budget Update.

Victoria, BC – September 11, 2017: BC’s Budget Update and Throne Speech include initiatives that will make a real difference for people with intellectual disabilities, children with special needs and their families, along with an important message of hope that all British Columbians are valued.

Inclusion BC and Disability Alliance BC welcome several key announcements as a positive start.

These include an additional $200/month earnings exemption for Persons With Disabilities (PWD) monthly benefits. This raises the total annual earnings exemption for 2017 to $12,000 for a single person before any reduction in their monthly PWD benefits. BC now has the highest annualized earnings exemption for disability benefit recipients in Canada.

The Budget Update also confirms new dollars for a $100/month increase in PWD rates, which was announced shortly after the new government took office. The increase takes effect in September, bringing the monthly benefit to $1,133 for a single person. The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will also receive an additional $16 million for 2017/18 to address social assistance caseload pressures for the current year, with further increases in future years.

“British Columbians with intellectual disabilities and their families have been struggling and falling further behind for many years,” said Inclusion BC Executive Director Faith Bodnar. “These initiatives, along the overall focus on putting people first, on tackling poverty and affordability and on building a better province where everyone belongs is a very welcome message for people who have been without hope for far too long.”

“This is a good start,” added Jane Dyson, Executive Director of Disability Alliance BC. “As Finance Minister Carole James said, these increases are long overdue and we look forward to working with government on a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.”

Inclusion BC notes that many challenges remain, such as the need for a comprehensive operational review of Community Living BC that will address its financial, program and policy challenges. CLBC’s budget does not address waitlists and still reflects expectations for lowered costs per adult, which conflicts with all the evidence.

“Our federation looks forward to working with government to confront these challenges,” Bodnar said. “But we can’t overstate how important it is for British Columbians with disabilities to hear their concerns acknowledged, with concrete commitments to start on immediate improvements.”

Not included in the Budget Update, but mentioned in Friday’s Throne Speech, was confirmation that BC would reinstate a transit pass for PWD recipients, effective January 2018. Minister James confirmed the January 2018 implementation date, with “no clawbacks” from PWD benefits to fund the new pass.

Inclusion BC and DABC also welcomed the commitment to restore the transit pass, and hope to see an equitable approach to providing access to transportation for all PWD recipients.

The Budget Update included additional funding for social policy initiatives, including initial planning for a poverty reduction strategy and a basic income pilot. Inclusion BC and DABC have emphasized that a comprehensive strategy is critical to addressing poverty as a structural barrier that excludes British Columbians with intellectual disabilities from accessing many of the benefits and opportunities of full citizenship.

Other new budget initiatives to address affordability, including reduced MSP premiums and investments in affordable housing, will bring welcome relief for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

“With the affordable housing initiatives, we need to ensure there is a clear vision for inclusive housing,” Bodnar said. “We’re also looking for portable rental supplements for PWD recipients because the maximum $375 housing allowance is so out of synch with actual costs, especially in key regional markets.”

Other announcements included new investments in public schools, which are struggling to respond to the landmark 2016 Supreme Court ruling that restored former staffing ratios in teachers’ collective agreements.

“An entire generation of students with special needs and their families has suffered tremendously from cuts and underfunding of public education,” Bodnar said. “We have a real opportunity now to restore supports for inclusive education, with the commitment to reinvest in public schools and a new BC curriculum that supports teaching to diversity. We want to work with the Education Ministry, with teachers and parents to ensure that teachers have the support they need to offer quality learning opportunities for all students in inclusive classrooms. That includes restoring resources for student assessment, specialist supports, teacher training and collaboration and classroom aides ”

About Inclusion BC

We are a provincial federation of people with intellectual disabilities, families and community agencies that advocates for inclusion, rights and full citizenship. Since 1955, we have been working with communities, partners and governments to advance our vision of a world where we all belong.

More: inclusionbc.org

About Disability Alliance BC

DABC’s mission is to support people, with all disabilities, to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in the community. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research and publications.

More: disabilityalliancebc.org