Feb. 17, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is improving the Household Income Policy for Department of Social Development clients. Kelly Lamrock, minister of social development, made the announcement today.
"Last November, at the Final Forum, our government committed to changing the Household Income Policy so that it only applies to social assistance recipients who are in spousal relationships," said Lamrock. "I am pleased to announce that, since Jan. 1, clients in non-spousal relationships have been able to share accommodations with clients or non-clients and receive separate cheques. Clients in spousal relationships will continue to receive one cheque for the household."
The new policy, which only applies to clients who were in receipt of assistance as of Jan. 1, represents a $5-million investment this fiscal year. It is an interim measure that will help current clients economically until Social Assistance Reform, including an important and significant overhaul of the Household Income Policy, is complete in mid-2011.
The policy change addresses the possibility that clients who had exemptions may have lost them as a result of sharing accommodations with an applicant.
The change is an improved version of the commitment made by the provincial government under Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan. This plan was adopted in November 2009 by the 50 members of the Final Forum representing government, the business and community sectors, and residents who have experienced living in poverty.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Aiton, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416.