NDP PEI is committed to closing the poverty gap to give ordinary people the opportunity for a decent standard of living, immediately, with a Minimum Wage of at least $15 and adequate social-assistance rates, and will move to develop a Basic Income Guarantee.
NDP MLAs will work to:
- Increase the affordability and accessibility of High Quality childcare, disability supports
- Ensure food security is addressed
- Ensure an Island Pension Plan focused on unattached seniors and single parents is proposed
- Rekindle the drive for a Basic Income on PEI
- Ensure social assistance rates for food, housing and other household needs match the actual cost of living.
- Implement and immediate increase to minimum wage to $15/hr, rising within four years to at least $17, leading to an indexed liveable wage.
We stand for an immediate increase to $15/hr, rising within four years to at least $17, leading to an indexed liveable wage.
PEI wages are the lowest in the country. That needs fixing. A decent minimum wage is a generator. Far from hurting employment, it boosts the paychecks of not only the lowest wage-earners, but of all workers. Working people spend money, mainly in their own community: it’s good for the economy.
The NDP is the party of fairness; we stand by our historic commitment to the basic right of ordinary people to have a realistic share of profit and a livable wage.
Social Assistance Rates
We stand for making the rates for food, housing and other household needs match the actual cost of living.
The social assistance system has lagged woefully behind the prices in the grocery store and rental market. The Liberal Government has for years set goals, for example, to raise the food-need rates to levels that are well below the true cost of the National Nutritious Food Basket. This is absurd and inhumane.
NDP PEI makes a commitment to persons who can’t work: that social assistance will cover your basic needs.
Basic Income Guarantee
We stand for a 5-year pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of a guaranteed annual income, in contributing to the long-term goal of ensuring a liveable income for every person.
The 1970s Mincome experiment in Manitoba, though left incomplete, showed that a guaranteed income has real impact on people’s standard of living and health status, and consequent costs to the health system.
When Premier Ford cancelled Ontario’s program in 2018, 100 CEOs of Canadian businesses urged that it be rescued, in the belief that our society must adapt to the shifting economy and patterns of work. Dave Cherkewski, on taking part in Ontario’s Basic Income project …
- Before, on Social Assistance: “Barely surviving was a full-time job.”
- With secure income: “My disposable income after-rent doubled … I could buy fruit.”
- After the project: “To lose my basic income, I’m losing my affordable housing.”
In 2016 the Legislative Assembly unanimously directed the PEI Government to pursue a federal-provincial pilot project. That resolution came to nothing.
NDP PEI will rekindle it — to create a 5-year test program, with a liveable income targeted initially to low-income persons (recipients of HST rebate, based on income tax filing) who wish to participate.
The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), while very limited in scope, has long proven the principle of using the tax system as the vehicle for topping-up the income of a person whose financial capacity lies below the basic liveable standard in a manner determined by need: as other income (from wages and other sources) increases, the supplement is reduced. It’s fair, and it works.
Replacing the hodge-podge of existing welfare-support schemes will require the expertise of those working in the field on this issue since the 70’s. We accept that there must be changes in how society gets the needed revenue — that is, by realistic taxation of personal and corporate wealth.
NDP PEI is committed to fairness: to all persons having a basic liveable income.
Island Pension Plan
Focus on unattached Seniors and young single parents. Use model based on: Canada Pension , Quebec, and/or Saskatchewan pension plans
Other commitments to achieve a decent standard of living for all
• affordable child care (see 5.8) • disability supports • promoting locally-grown food and domestic food production