Calls for Alberta to expand inflation relief to more households struggling with rising costs
Posted Jan 28, 2023 02:14:04 PM.
As Alberta prepares to roll out its first inflation relief payments Tuesday, some Albertans living with disabilities don’t qualify because they aren’t on income assistance like AISH.
They say they feel politically forgotten.
For Tom Genore, who lives with Crohn’s disease, strict dietary needs means he has limited options to lower his grocery bill without causing a flare up.
“Options that I can eat and that are good for me to make me feel better are a lot more expensive,” he said.
“Gut related, Crohn’s disease, it limits me to what I can eat in order to feel good.”
Genore joined the Opposition NDP Friday to call for an expansion of inflation relief program to households without children also struggling with rising costs.
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It comes as the Manitoba government is issuing a second round of cheques to help people deal with inflation.
Manitobans with a net family income of less than $175,000 last year will be eligible. Single people are to get $225 and couples will receive $375.
Economist Fletcher Baragar says the move may be political in nature.
“It’s less of an economic and assistance measure than to some extent what might be seen as a politically popular one,” said Baragar.
In Alberta, more than 520,000 households making less than $180,000 annually have applied to receive $100 monthly per child or senior. That’s on top of the 300,000 already enrolled for income assistance.
The province says it is actively exploring options to help post-secondary students during these difficult times.
Part-time university student Madison Norman says it’s hard to plan financially without details.
“Just kind of sitting there waiting, you’re almost thinking like, well did they forget about me in a way?” said Norman. “Is this something that will affect me in a month, two months, a year from now?”
Norman says previous affordability measures like the gas tax relief, for instance, doesn’t help someone like her who can’t afford a car.
“I am 100 per cent sure it is helping certain Albertans, and I would say ‘a little bit goes a long way,’ but I definitely think there is quite a bit more room for improvement with that.”
It all comes as a provincial election is anticipated in May.
—With files from The Canadian Press