The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is recognizing today (October 17) as the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first observed in 1993, as a day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. The theme for 2019 is “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty.” This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to preventing, reducing and alleviating poverty. Budget 2019 allocates more than $286 million in approximately 100 poverty reduction initiatives – the largest funding commitment the Provincial Government has ever provided for poverty reduction. This includes $1.5 million to support enhancements to the new Children, Youth, and Families Act, which is child and youth-centred, family-focused and culturally responsive, and includes expanding services to youth.
A list of Budget 2019 poverty reduction initiatives is provided in the backgrounder below.
The Provincial Government’s poverty reduction work includes a Health-in-All Policies approach, and builds on the Education Action Plan, and Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. This approach is also linked to other important initiatives, including those that focus on private sector job creation and economic growth, and implementing an individualized funding model for persons with disabilities.
“On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, our government remains steadfast in our commitment to working with all levels of government and with community to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty. Ensuring accessible, responsive programs and services is key to empowering individuals, families and communities so that they thrive.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development
– 30 –
Children, Seniors and Social Development
Budget 2019 Commitments to Poverty Reduction Initiatives
Budget 2019 invests over $286 million for approximately 100 poverty reduction initiatives (an increase from $281 million in Budget 2018 and $271 million in 2017).
These investments include:
- $82 million for the Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement, including disability and child components, and enhancements to the Seniors’ Benefit. These benefits are paid directly to low-income individuals and families who file a yearly tax return. The total investment this year for the Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement and the Seniors’ Benefit is $123 million.
- $14.4 million for the Low Income Tax Reduction program which reduces or eliminates provincial income tax for eligible individuals and families
- $1.3 million continued funding for the province’s eight Women’s Centres and funding introduced to support a new Women’s Centre for the Northern Peninsula
- $6.2 million funding for the Early Learning Child Care Supplement paid directly to qualified early childhood educators
- A new policy change that exempts child support and Canada Pension Plan Children’s Benefits from Income Support financial eligibility assessment
The Provincial Government is working closely with the Federal Government to support the goals of Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.
A number of Way Forward commitments are connected to poverty reduction and are being implemented with consideration of how such actions can help improve social and economic well-being for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians:
- Adoption of a health-in-all-policies approach
- Implementation of “Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador”
- Implementation of the Education Action Plan
- Providing increased educational support to disengaged and at-risk students and youth
- Implementing the Social Enterprise Action Plan
- Implementing an individualized funding model
- Implementing client-focused interventions to support individuals with complex needs
The Provincial Government continues to work closely with community partners and the Federal Government to prevent, reduce and alleviate poverty, and achieve better outcomes for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.