Letters to the Editor

Welfare rates not meeting market needs

I commend Surrey MLA Jagrup Brar for his efforts to draw attention to the thousands of British Columbians living in impoverished conditions on welfare in this province.

I feel $610 per month is legislated poverty and oppressive and the welfare rates should be raised sooner rather than later. Why?

Raising welfare rates is an efficient way to stimulate the economy. Money distributed to the poor will be spent in the local economy. This will increase the need for more goods, services and workers and unemployment may start to fall.

Helping the poor pays huge dividends in every sector of government expenditure, especially big budget items such as health and education. Lifting children and families out of poverty increases positive outcomes for the most marginalized among us whether it’s increasing literacy, reducing malnutrition, or increasing graduation rates. With a focus on a healthy and educated society, less youth will go into crime or gangs, thereby saving the government millions in police, court, and prison-related costs.

It is morally the right thing to do to help the less-fortunate reach their potential. The solution is finding support for the mentally ill, detox for persons addicted to drugs, and homes for the homeless.

Jagrup Brar should also be arguing for streamlining the administration of the welfare system. I don’t see why the federal government cannot issue income assistance cheques through the use of technology and centralization.

Welfare rates have not met market needs for decades. I think a welfare recipient receives $375 for rent per month. Where can you find a place for that amount unless you relocate to the marginalized and often dangerous parts of town?


Alex Sangha, Delta

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