Time to help disabled persons

Do I pay for a roof over my head or food for my stomach? Can’t afford both

Editor, The News:

I would like to comment on the Economic Action Plan?

This has been bothering me for some time now and I really feel that the provincial government should be taking a very serious look at and correcting this situation.

Plans have been made to help the seniors, the small businesses, jobs for Canadians, education costs, universal child care benefits, and safety for Canadians.

All well and good. But you keep neglecting a rather important portion of the population.

What about the disabled and persons who have to survive on income assistance? When are they going to be getting some help?

How much longer are they expected to live on an income that is a mere $6.47 per hour, based on a 35-hour work week. That works out to a mere $226 per week (for the disabled individual) and even less for a person who is trying to survive on income assistance.

How are they supposed to be able to afford even the scummiest place to live, pay for electricity and clothes and feed themselves on that type of income?   Wonder no more why there are so many homeless persons, especially with rents taking upwards of 82-85 per cent or more of their of the total income.

It is the old question that comes to mind: do I pay for a roof over my head or food for my stomach? Can’t afford both and you can only get so much from the food banks.

If rent is paid this month, there is nothing left for food; if food is bought, the rent goes unpaid and they get kicked out because of failure to pay.

It is a very vicious circle that will not get any better until the government steps in and helps them become a viable member of society by increasing their incomes to at least something that comes closer to the poverty line. Right now their income is so far below that line that it can’t even be seen when looking for it.

Come on, provincial government, stop dragging your feet and have some compassion for the members of society who are doing the best they can with so very little.  When the subsidy component of the housing charge is no longer in place come 2017, you will see the number of homeless persons at least triple in number because they will no longer be able to afford the cost of a place to live, let alone have anything left over to buy food with.

The time has come to step down off of your high horses, and really look around, see the kind of conditions that the disabled and lower income persons are living in. Take heed and help them for you never know, someday it might just be you on the other end of the stick, and you will be asking how am I supposed to live on such a tiny income as this and survive.

Ruth Meyer

Pitt Meadows


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