The Manitoba government on Wednesday announced the Family Affordability Package, a program aimed at supporting families amid rising costs and inflation.
Finance Minister and MLA for Morden-Winkler Cameron Friesen explained why.
“Right now, Manitobans are really feeling the pressure of rising costs. Transportation, food, housing, entertainment, furnishings, everything is going up in price, and we know that’s for a number of reasons, including interest rate increases, the ongoing war in Ukraine , supply chain issues, labor market changes. Our government was there, but it was clear that more was needed, and so on Wednesday we rolled out our affordability package.
Friesen said the timing of the announcement was based on what the government heard from people across Manitoba.
“People are under the impression that everything costs more, but right now it’s back to school. So we have an itemized payment for any family with one child, $250 for any family with a child under 18 years and $200 for each additional child. , a one-time payment because people are feeling this sting. This goes to any family with a net income below $175,000. This means that we will send these checks to almost 150,000 families.
Friesen was asked about those who feel the pinch but aren’t eligible for this particular package, such as single people, people without dependents, or people with disabilities.
“We know that a family with two or three children has more financial pressure with a moderate or modest income than, say, two earners or one earner with no dependants. I’m not saying there aren’t challenges for these people, but we try to make the benefits as broad and fair as possible. Remember that these measures we announced also included other measures, such as an increase in the basic needs allowance for anyone receiving AIE who does not have children. This increase in benefits applies to people who have a disability.”
A series of recent announcements, including the Manitoba government’s $87 million affordability program for families, have some people asking where the money is coming from.
Friesen responded that the province presents a budget each year identifying new programs and expenditures, but the process is stalled.
“The opposition parties have not yet authorized the passage of our budget, which means that we need an interim authority to be able to activate these measures. So we will bring this interim authority and there are measures special measures that a legislature must be able to put in place. do this, and so we will bring this measure now. Why are we doing this now? Because now is the time that the relief is needed.
He looks forward to the return of the legislature, in a few weeks, and the work that his party will do to adopt the budget for the 2022/23 financial year.