You have likely heard by now that the BC budget released February 17 eliminated the child support clawback that the First Call Coalition has long campaigned for!
The arguments made in the joint submission by the First Call Coalition, the Single Mothers Alliance of BC and the Community Legal Assistance Society, and the dialogue with the Minister and government staff at the First Call December coalition meeting (including stories from single mothers and BC ACORN) played an important role in convincing government to change this harmful policy and respect these children’s rights.
Also included in the budget was a second important change that the First Call Coalition has been calling for, that parents will no longer be required to assign their rights to pursue child support to the government in order to apply for income assistance.
However, despite this major win, there was little else for children and youth in the budget.
As reported in the Georgia Straight, First Call provincial coordinator Adrienne Montani “would have liked to see the budget include other steps to help B.C. families and youth, including an increase in welfare rates, a funding boost for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, a ‘substantial reinvestment’ in education, and an investment in childcare.”
Our friends at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office were disappointed that the top tax bracket on income over $150,000 will be eliminated (a gift to the richest 2% of British Columbians), while health and education spending failed to keep up with inflation and population growth and BC continues to go without a poverty reduction plan. Find analysis and infographics in 11 things you should know about BC Budget 2015 by CCPA-BC senior economist Iglika Ivanova.
First Call partner the Federation of Community Social Services of BC, in their budget analysis (see Breaking News on this page http://fcssbc.ca/resources/), called the investments in BC’s social care infrastructure “too few and too little to really make a difference in the lives of BC’s most vulnerable citizens,” and concluded that “the capacity to provide good social care to children, youth and families in this province continues to be severely hampered by Budget 2015.”
Read the news highlights:
News 1130: Budget comes at a cost to social programs: CCPA: Nurses, BCSTA, and Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond respond to BC budget
CBC News: B.C. Budget 2015: Wishlist for public education, child poverty, healthcare
Global News: B.C. ends child-support clawback for poor parents
Breakfast Television: Claw-back removal applauded
Times Colonist: B.C. budget: Clawbacks of child support payments to end
Times Colonist: Gulf between rich and poor growing in B.C., budget critics say