"BC Benefits includes cruel, punitive, and unfair provisions including reducing income assistance rates for single persons and the elimination of the earnings exemption and imposes a workfare type scheme on some recipients."
That's what the BC Government Employees' Union said in a strong resolution passed at their June convention in Victoria. The union represents front line workers in the Ministry of Human Resources, among others.
"The focus of government through the Ministry of Human Resources has changed from one of helping and assisting those in need to a rigid and obsessive focus on fraud and abuse which often leaves people in need demoralized, humiliated and in many cases destitute..." the resolution says.
The resolution calls on the union to lobby the provincial government to "change the punitive and unfair policies of BC Benefits, end mandatory participation in workfare, and re-instate benefits to previous levels." It also commits the union to work with "community-based organizations like End Legislated Poverty and WHOA (Workfare Hurts One and All) to challenge poor-bashing.
-- The Long Haul