NDP commits to comprehensive plan to reduce poverty

Today's NDP will take significant steps to continue tackling poverty by increasing the minimum wage by at least 50 cents per year, and making sustained, strategic investments in housing, child care, mental health, basic needs, and training, NDP Leader Greg Selinger announced today.

“The NDP will protect and enhance programs and services for low-income, working and middle-class families,” said Selinger. “Brian Pallister’s Conservatives and Rana Bokhari’s Liberals have not committed to protecting Manitoba’s investments in affordable housing or to increasing the minimum wage.”

The NDP plan to tackle poverty will focus on sustained, multi-year investments families can count on. This includes raising the minimum wage by at least 50 cents per year, creating 300 net new social housing units a year, working to create a pension-like income program for persons with disabilities, and introducing a targeted benefit for single, low-income Manitobans to help provide for their basic needs and help as they move into a new job.

“We’re committed to smart, strategic investments in affordable housing, skills and training to help Manitobans get good jobs and supports for vulnerable people who need it most,” Selinger said. “The NDP is the only party committed to regular minimum wage increases that will help working families with rising food prices.”

When combined with our plan to create 12,000 more accessible child care spaces, and more preventative programs and mental health supports for children, families and young people, the NDP is presenting a comprehensive plan to fight poverty and build more inclusive communities.

“Brian Pallister says there are 'no sacred cows' when it comes to cuts, and he doesn’t support our income tax break to help working and middle-class families keep a little more money in their pockets,” said Selinger. “But Manitobans know that half a billion dollars in Conservative budget cuts will hurt their families. The NDP believes every family should have the supports they need to go to school, get a good job and raise their families—not just the privileged few.”

In the first week of the campaign, the Manitoba NDP has committed to increasing services that low income, working, and middle-class families count on by doubling the number of QuickCare Clinics in Manitoba and funding schools at or above the rate of economic growth.

BACKGROUNDER

The NDP will continue its comprehensive and strategic approach to reducing poverty by targeting key program areas: housing, minimum wage increases, income supports, child care and mental health.

A re-elected NDP will:

  • Raise the minimum wage by at least 50 cents every year and reject calls by lobbyists to introduce differential minimum wages for young people, service industry workers and new hires.
  • Add 300 net new rent-geared-to-income housing units every year through a combination of subsidies and construction. This will begin once the current plan for 500 more units over three years by 2017/2018 is complete.
  • Keep publically-owned housing public, protect affordability for families and reject privatization.
  • Support low-income families by keeping our $100 million per year commitment to maintain and renovate existing Manitoba Housing units.
  • Get more people working by expanding and engaging social enterprises to build and renovate social housing.
  • Work with inner-city community associations to expand programming that helps build stronger connections between rooming house owners and tenants to improve housing conditions.
  • Launch a targeted income-based basic needs benefit for low-income, single Manitobans. Eligible Manitobans would immediately see existing benefits increase 16% and we would work to make the benefit portable, like our new Rent Assist program.
  • Complete Manitoba’s study on developing a pension-like income program for persons with disabilities who’re unable to work.
  • Work with the federal government to explore integrating and enhancing the Manitoba Child Benefit with the new federal child benefit, so that more families can access this support for their families.
  • Create another 12,000 spaces of affordable child care to create universally-accessible early learning and child care.
  • Invest in new early childhood development prevention programs and youth mental health supports.
  • Within the first six months following re-election, set timelines and indicators for poverty reduction targets, in collaboration with families, community organizations and front-line workers.