Province announces rollout of ‘family affordability’ benefit package

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As part of the Manitoba government’s ongoing effort to help families make ends meet, Premier Heather Stefanson today unveiled an $87-million Family Affordability Package to immediately provide families with children, seniors living on a fixed income, and Manitobans who are hurting the most, with benefits to help ease the burden of rising costs and high inflation.

“We know that many Manitobans are hurting right now and having a hard time making ends meet,” said Stefanson. “Not only are we recovering from the pandemic, but we are also facing the burden of the new federal carbon tax along with soaring utility bills and rising prices on everything from gasoline to groceries. Manitobans need help right now and we’re taking action.”

Help for Families with Children

As part of the new Family Affordability Package, Manitoba families with children and a household income of less than $175,000 in 2021 will receive a Family Affordability benefit cheque of $250 for the first child and $200 for each additional child. An estimated 145,000 families with approximately 282,000 children will benefit with an average cheque of approximately $440 per family, totalling $63 million in benefits.

Help for Low Income Seniors

In addition, seniors with less than $40,000 in family income, who claimed an Education Property Tax Credit in 2021, will each receive a Family Affordability benefit cheque of $300 to help ease the burden of rising costs. This $16-million initiative will help approximately 52,500 senior households living on fixed incomes.

Help for Manitobans Most in Need

Manitobans receiving Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) will benefit from a long-overdue increase to the basic needs rate starting in October 2022 for the month of November. EIA general assistance clients without dependent children will receive an extra $50 per adult each month. All EIA disability clients will receive an additional $25 per household each month.

Additionally, to help feed even more struggling families who are turning to food banks to help make ends meet, the premier said help is also on the way with a temporary grant program called the Food Security Fund, which will support community organizations grappling with growing demands.

Stefanson noted historic tax relief measures were also part of Budget 2022 with the $2,020 Tax Rollback Guarantee, which has now exceeded to $2,400 or $4,800 for a two-income family. Some of these initiatives include:

  • expanding the child-care subsidy program;
  • phasing out of education property taxes;
  • introducing a new residential renters tax credit; and
  • providing rebate cheques to vehicle owners through Manitoba Public Insurance.

“This phase of the Family Affordability Package is our way of standing with Manitobans by providing immediate benefits and help for those who need it most,” said the premier. “But there is more help on the way as we work to provide benefits to Manitobans, not just with one cheque, but with ongoing benefits.”

To find out more about the Family Affordability Package, visit: https://www.manitoba.ca/familyaffordability/.