Charlottetown, PE – Islanders on social assistance will benefit from the province’s continued economic growth through increased monthly allowance supports, as of January 1, 2020.
The increased allowance rates will benefit people in all regions of Prince Edward Island and improve the lives of vulnerable Islanders, giving them more of an opportunity for success through enhanced food security and personal supports.
“This is an investment in our people. Food prices and the cost of living are continuing to rise, and the issue of food insecurity, especially among our younger generations, is extremely troubling,” said Premier Dennis King. “Islanders are good at coming together and supporting one another, and this increase in social assistance allowance is one way our government is committed to supporting the people of Prince Edward Island. This increase will make life more affordable for our most vulnerable Islanders.”
Since the spring, government has been working collaboratively with the Official Opposition to identify opportunities to improve supports for vulnerable Islanders. As a result, government is investing the largest single infusion of dollars directly to Islanders accessing social assistance programs. This means increased immediate investment of approximately $6.4 million annually to allowance rates. This is on top of the ten percent increase to the food allowance introduced in January 2019.
Starting in the New Year, monthly social assistance allowance rates will increase as follows:
- $109.00 for the first adult;
- $64.00 for each additional adult thereafter;
- $34.00 for each additional child.
“I was thrilled when the Premier asked me to help work on this initiative. These new rates are about protecting and advancing the dignity and security for Islanders who are currently being left behind due to old rate structures,” said Opposition Critic for Social Development and Housing Hannah Bell. “This critical first step in improving and creating better long-term supports means many more Islanders will have access to the necessary supports to create a better future for them and their families.”
Canada’s Food Price Report (2020) anticipates that PEI will experience higher than average food inflation. These new rates reflect the anticipated inflation and will help meet the objectives set out in the provincial Poverty Reduction Action Plan.
“This investment is one more step in our efforts to make life more affordable and eliminate poverty in our province,” said Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson. “This is a matter of renewing and improving our commitment to lower-income Islanders, and sharing in the success of our economy with those who need it the most.”
As part of this investment, the provincial government will also be transitioning to a single living allowance for social assistance clients in order to remove red tape. This move will empower clients with discretion to budget their own personal finances for items such as food, clothing, household expenses and personal items.
Islanders will notice this change reflected on the payment scheduled for January 8, 2020.
Director of Communications
Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations
Government of Prince Edward Island