LETTER: Disabled need more help

Premier Clark states, “everybody on disability is going to be better off” after her government announced a $77 a month increase ...

Premier Clark states, “everybody on disability is going to be better off” after her government announced a $77 a month increase to disability benefits.

Andrea Wetteland did an excellent job in your article, “Giving with one hand, taking with the other,” of showing the impact on her related to the government’s decision to increase the bus pass fee from the current $45 to $624.

Andrea, along with many others in this community, will have to make a decision of putting food on the table at the expense of losing what she described as her “lifeline” by giving up her bus pass. Should she decide to retain her bus pass, the real impact of increased disability amount is reduced to $25!

What has been missed in the coverage to date is the consequence of government’s failure to provide an increase in benefits to the same vulnerable citizens in nine years.

After the government claws back the bus pass fee there won’t be enough to cover the rent increase this year, let alone increases in other living expenses. The base amount for those on benefits has been eroded on an annual basis over the past nine years.

Are those people on disability benefits “better off” now? It is not all that complicated: do the math! They are entering their 10th year with no real increase in benefit amounts. Oh, I just noticed that BC Hydro is looking for a four per cent increase and the landlord just raised the rent again by 2.9 per cent, and have you seen the cost of vegetables lately?

Jim Walton