There is no doubt that the work of Raise the Rates, and other campaign groups, is raising public awareness about the extreme poverty in BC and the need for a significant increase in welfare support as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. In 2010 there were 688,000 people in poverty in BC, more than 1 in 7 of the population. Many more people are touched by poverty with family and friends in poverty or being only a couple of pay cheques away from poverty.
People on welfare are the poorest of the poor and tackling welfare poverty will help tackle all poverty. An opinion poll, organized by the BC Healthy Living Alliance in 2012, found that 78% of British Columbians support a provincial poverty reduction strategy, and 75% support adjusting income assistance rates to account for the real cost of a nutritious diet and real market rental rates.
However there is much more to do. While voters said that poverty and inequality were issues for them, misguided concerns and hopes about the economy and jobs dominated people’s choices. We will need to work harder to convince people that poverty is a cost to society and their wallets – it is estimated that poverty costs each person in BC $2,100 a year.
Raise the Rates has been active this year and has plans for further activity in 2013. One example is that there is a resolution moved by the City of Vancouver going to the Union of BC Municipalities conference in September.
With your support, we will work to build a movement for change that raises welfare, tackles poverty and shifts the priorities of society to putting the needs of people first.
Take a look at our 2012 activities report to see what else we’ve been working on.
We hope you will consider supporting Raise the Rates. Please send any donations to Raise the Rates with cheques payable to ‘Raise the Rates’.
- Letter: c/o CCAP, 401 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2T7
- Phone: 604 738-1653 (Bill) or 604 729-2380 (Jean)
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support.
Bill Hopwood, Organizer, Raise the Rates