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Seniors squeezed by costs, latest supports fall short

April 9, 2024
   2 min read
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For immediate release

April 9, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the BC NDP announced new measures to support seniors and to enhance the Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) program. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement: 

“Seniors on fixed incomes in British Columbia are struggling. Rising costs of housing, healthcare, and daily living are pushing them to the brink, and the recent measures announced by the BC NDP, while a step in the right direction, fall short of the comprehensive action needed. The SAFER program is outdated and out of touch with the realities of today. 

“The announced increase of housing grants by $110 a month is a positive development, but it’s simply not enough. The $4,000 hike in the income threshold to $37,240 falls short of addressing the pressing needs of seniors while the cost of living continues to rise.

“The BC Greens have advocated for a threshold of $45,000 for individuals and $50,000 for couples, significantly higher than today’s increase. This gap highlights a disconnect from the actual financial struggles faced by seniors. Additionally, I am concerned about the potential claw backs of the federal guaranteed income supplements, which could undermine any progress made by these reforms.

“Relying on one-time benefits as a solution is ineffective and short-sighted. It fails to address the systemic issues at play, leaving seniors to continually choose between essentials like medication, food, or heating. This is not a choice anyone should have to make in a society as well-off as ours.

“After a lifetime of contributing to taxes, seniors in their seventies are now facing homelessness. it is unacceptable and we need a government that acts with real urgency.”

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca

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