Taxpayers criticize Furey’s plan to balloon social welfare

Author: Jay Goldberg 2023/11/08

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is criticizing Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey’s plan to introduce a costly new welfare program that fails to fix the systemic issues plaguing the province’s economy. 

“If Furey wants to help Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he should be focused on creating jobs,” said CTF Interim Atlantic Director Jay Goldberg. “Today’s announcement does nothing to address the underlying issues that have led Newfoundlanders and Labradorians onto social assistance in the first place. Instead of cutting more cheques, Furey should be looking to create more opportunities.”

The Furey government announced it is introducing a so-called basic income program for residents between the ages of 60 and 64 who are already on social assistance. This program doesn’t replace another program. Instead, it creates yet another form of social welfare layered on top of an already complicated and costly system.

“Advocates of basic income programs have traditionally argued that basic income should replace other welfare programs,” Goldberg said. “This new program is the worst of both worlds: it doesn’t replace the maze of welfare programs and it doesn’t help people find work.”

Newfoundland and Labrador already has the highest debt per person of any province in Canada. The Furey government is currently running a deficit, meaning this new program will be funded through more borrowing. The province already has more than $16 billion of debt.

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