The Official Opposition critic for Social Development is questioning the Higgs Government’s priorities after they quietly cancelled the Home Energy Assistance Program and implemented a wage top-up for some special care home workers that only applies when an outbreak occurs.
The Home Energy Assistance Program is a 100$ benefit given to low-income households to help with increasing energy costs.
“The province saw a huge surplus while some families struggled to make ends meet under the weight of the pandemic. What possible justification does the Higgs Government have for eliminating this program?” questions Robert Gauvin, Official Opposition critic for Social Development. “This is a simple program that provides support to those who need it most. They know eliminating this program is wrong, that’s why they did it so quietly. This is yet another example of how far removed this Higgs government is from the real needs of New Brunswickers. ”
Another issue that recently came to light is a three-dollar wage top-up provided to special care home workers once Covid-19 has been detected and can spread in a home.
“While I support a wage top-up for special care home workers, this particular benefit does not sit well with me because it only applies when the spread of Covid-19 has been detected in a home and only those making under $18 an hour are eligible” says Robert Gauvin. “These front-line workers have all been working tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic, they have a great deal of additional responsibilities to ensure the virus stays out of special care homes. The wage top-up should not be contingent on a worker’s wage, or on if an outbreak occurs in a home.”