Fredericton –On Friday, David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South responded to the provincial budget, saying that it fails to tackle the high levels of poverty in New Brunswick, while unnecessarily driving up the deficit.
“Government has got to start living within its means, while helping the tens of thousands of New Brunswickers who lack the means to live,” said Coon during his speech. “The Premier has an extra $165M in revenue to work with, which should enable him to tackle poverty head-on, and continue to reduce the deficit. Instead, he has opted to spend an extra $238M in this election year, driving the deficit back up to $189M.”
The budget contains no change in income assistance rates. A single person must continue to try and live on $537 monthly.
“The Premier should have made fighting poverty one of the key priorities for this budget. Poverty is known to impact your health, your educational achievement, and your ability to succeed in the workforce. If we are serious about health and education, we need to be serious about fighting poverty,” said Coon.
“Budgets are about decisions,” said Coon. “We can live within our means as a province, and still ensure that the most vulnerable have the means to live.”