News release

Increase in Nova Scotia Child Benefit

Starting this month, the province has increased the Nova Scotia Child Benefit for eligible families to $403 per year for one child, $722 for two children, and $1,008 for three children. An additional $286 is provided for each additional child.

"These payments help us provide direct support to Nova Scotia families who need it most," said Community Services Minister Peter Christie. "We are providing this help to working families, as well as families receiving income assistance."

About 35,000 families with 59,000 children receive the tax-free Nova Scotia Child Benefit. Maximum benefits are provided to families with a net family income of $15,999 or less, while partial benefits are provided to families with a net family income between $16,000 and $20,921.

As part of the National Child Benefit Program (NCB), Nova Scotia will invest $23.5 million this fiscal year. As in many provinces, the National Child Benefit supplement is charged back as income from families on social assistance and reinvested in provincial programs. About $20.2 million will be used for the Nova Scotia Child Benefit. Another $3.3 million will be used for programs and services as part of the Healthy Child Development Initiatives.

The Nova Scotia government is committed to working toward the elimination of the charge-back provision of the National Child Benefit. Nova Scotia is working closely with its federal- provincial-territorial partners to look at options which provide the best income support for our children. This is a primary concern for the redesign of our social assistance system currently underway in Nova Scotia.

Increases to the Nova Scotia Child Benefit will provide more help to families on assistance and to low-income working families. For example, a family with three children under the age of 18 will now receive $1,008 per year if the family qualifies for the maximum benefits under the program.

"Many families need help raising their children, and the combined provincial-federal assistance under the NCB program can have a positive impact on those families," said Mr. Christie.

Healthy Child Development Initiatives, also part of the national program, are designed to give children a better start in life and include early intervention and community-based prevention programs and child care.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Starting this month, the government of Nova Scotia has increased the Nova Scotia Child Benefit for eligible families.

Families with one child will now receive 400 hundred and three dollars a year, 700 hundred and 22 dollars for families with two children, and one-thousand and eight-dollars for those with three children.

An additional 286-dollars is provided for each additional child.

Increases to the Nova Scotia Child Benefit will provide more help to families on assistance and to low-income working families.

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Contact:

Tom Peck
Community Services 902-424-4326 E-mail:
kjd                      July 6, 2000     3:07 p.m.