Why is poverty a problem?
Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Many people cannot access the support they need because of how some programs are designed and delivered.
On April 7, 2020 RAPM sent open letters that were on Living Skies and on the End Poverty Saskatchewan websites and call on the Government of Saskatchewan:
- To immediately increase the basic allowance (of SIS, and other Social Assistance Programs in the Province) by $300 per month to reflect the full true cost of shelter, utilities and basic needs in our communities.
- Raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.
- Commit that people living on Social Assistance will receive the attention needed to ensure that benefits are distributed in a timely manner at all times, but especially in this moment of crisis.
- To ensure the post-COVID recovery plan puts people’s health and well-being first. No exceptions. (adapted from the Canadian Poverty Institute)
- Ensure that when the crisis is over the government develops a long-term strategy to align benefits at a level in the various programs to cover the actual cost of food, clothing shelter and utilities in our communities and index the benefits so that no one on income assistance will ever suffer destitution again.