CKNW: Critics slam bus pass clawback as disability assistance rates set to rise

Posted September 1, 2016

Disability payment rates for thousands of British Columbians are set to go up tomorrow.
But some who are set to receive the new payment say the government is barely giving. It’s just taking.
”A $77 increase is not a $77 increase.”
That, from Tom Page who is faced with a difficult decision. Take the full $77, or choose a subsidized transit pass for $52 – meaning his increase only goes up by $25.
“[I’m] choosing to keep my bus pass because I live in New Westminster and because I use it every day.”
Page says he’ll have to cut back on other necessities like groceries.
“Around $200 dollars, I’m just going to have to cut into it more, I’m cutting to the bone. But I’m not the only one and there are a lot of people in the same situation.”
The bus pass previously cost $45 a year.
Page says those on disability assistance haven’t seen a hike in a decade and the modest increase doesn’t account for inflation.
Page is also the Chair of the B.C. ACORN Disability Rights Group.
Earlier this year, critics of the new bus pass regime launched a petition to scrap the changed, which drew more than 9,000 signatures.
A march will be held tomorrow at 11am, starting at Commercial-Broadway Station to protest against the bus pass clawback and members of ACORN will be calling for higher social assistance rates.
Article by Emily Lazatin for CKNW 980