Member’s Statement: Poverty needs to be a priority – 17 May 2016

Mr. Speaker, government continues to treat those living in poverty as if they have committed a crime. Social assistance rates are at a level that can only be described as cruel.
People living in poverty cannot afford to purchase medical supplies needed to care for chronic conditions, never mind get through a month without running out of money for food.
To comply with requirements to present themselves every month at the Department of Social Development in Fredericton requires a bus trip for many. As one of my constituents told me yesterday, she can provide two meals for herself out of the money it costs for a round-trip bus fare to present herself to her case worker. Her choice? Give up two meals or show up and be treated like a low-life.
Mr. Speaker it’s time this government makes poverty a priority.