People who want much higher welfare rates took over Vancouver City Council Chambers on Sunday, October 23. They gathered to talk about what it was like to eat on just $18 a week, and what needs to be done about the dire poverty that the BC government is forcing people on welfare to endure. However, the takeover was helped by the city that donated the space and passed a proclamation declaring last week, Raise the Rates week. October 16–22 was the 5th annual Welfare Food Challenge. This year over 200 people from all parts of BC participated. Tiare Jung recorded the highlights and actions items in this graphic recording. Click the image to see a larger version.
Call on the provincial government to:
- Increase Income Assistance Rates to the Market Basket Measure. This is approximately $1,500 a month in Vancouver, for a single person. Once welfare has been raised to the poverty line, the rates must be indexed to inflation.
- Raise the rate for people with disabilities to $1,800 a month as they have extra living costs due to disability.
- Remove arbitrary barriers that prevent people in need from receiving assistance. The 2-year independence test, the 5-week work search and restrictions based on citizenship status are unfair and prevent people from receiving the help they need.
- Increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and index it to inflation.
- Build at least 10,000 units of affordable non-market housing per year in addition to increases in supportive housing, assistive living units and shelter beds.
- Provide affordable high quality public childcare.
- Increase the tax rate on people who earn more than $250,000 per year and reverse the tax cuts to corporations and the richest 1%.