Social Policy Trends: Reindexation of Social Assistance Incomes
5 December 2022
-80% The election of a United Conservative Party (UCP) government in April 2019 brought an end to the short-lived policy of indexation. [...] The CPI is designed to measure changes in the cost of living for the “average household.” Statistics Canada estimates this Happily, in late November, Alberta’s UCP government announced its intention to restart average household spends 30% and 16% of its budget on housing and food, indexing social income supports and to increase benefits by 6% to make up for the effects respectively. [...] Given that rent and food prices have increased The first is a 6% increase in benefits is not sufficient to recover the purchasing power lost significantly faster than the CPI over the past 3 years, indexing to it does not during the past nearly 3 years when inflation was high and social assistance was not adequately protect families with low income from inflation. [...] The figure to the right presents calculations from our report showing how high What does a loss of purchasing power mean? It means, amongst other things, rates of rent and food inflation, combined with un-indexed social assistance, have reduced individuals and families must rely more heavily on food banks. [...] Still further the ability of families with low income in cities across the country to purchase things like losses of purchasing power inevitably leads to a loss of housing and rising transportation and clothing, and to pay for utilities.