Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Deeper Poverty Ahead: Tumbling into the Abyss

Poverty is the worst form of violence.

- Mahatma Ghandi.

NDP says Govt. welfare numbers way off
Dan Burritt | Email news tips to Dan
CKNW. 7/8/2009

The NDP says the Cambpell government has seriously underestimated the demand for welfare.

Housing critic Shane Simpson claims leaked documents show the government's welfare caseload for next year is almost 150 thousand people, not 115 thousand as projected. [We'll be lucky if it's that low with all that is coming. Wonder when former BC government employees will start having to go on the rolls too?]

Simpson says at a time when thousands and thousands more people are going onto assistance because of our economic situation, the government also has frozen its support, as of the beginning of June, for adult basic education, for english as a second language, for vocational assessments.

Simpson says those extra caseloads will add about 100 million dollars to the budget.
Yes, we wouldn't want more people to get an education, speak English, or find out what kind of employment they might be suited for. The labour market can't absorb the numbers of people rapidly becoming unemployed now.

And, as we see below, the BC government is already trying to project and quantify the numbers of people, "10,000" who will not be helped at all. The scariest thing is that they aren't even in the ballpark.

Someday, when we look back we will realize we have been plagued by the worst government in BC and quite possibly, Canadian history.

Leaked Document Shows BC Welfare Caseload Severely Underestimated, Cuts Coming
Vancouver Sun, July 8, 2009.

The provincial government's budget for income assistance could fall more than $100 million short as the number of recipients is predicted to reach 147,000 next year, according to New Democrat sources.

The information comes from a leaked e-mail from Heather Davidson, assistant deputy minister of the Regional Services Division of the Ministry of Housing and Social Development.

The document states the government expects the number of people receiving income assistance to number 27,000 by next June, 28 per cent higher than the rate budgeted for by the Campbell government.

“Before the election, Gordon Campbell promised to hold the line on a $495 million deficit without cutting services, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that’s not going to be the case," New Democrat housing and social development critic Shane Simpson said in a news release.

"Now we’ve learned that the government’s projections for income assistance are almost 30 per cent short, and there will be deep service cuts to make up for the shortfall.”

The document, released by the NDP today, shows the welfare caseload is exploding dramatically — up from a projected 115,000 to 147,000.

The number of people left without help will rise from 2000 to 10,000, it states.

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