Quebec will enforce welfare rules to reduce numbers on assistance – Income Security

Quebec will enforce welfare rules to reduce numbers on assistance – Income Security – Brief Article

QUEBEC CITY — The recently elected Liberal Quebec government plans to reduce the number of households receiving welfare by 25,000 this year and to cut social assistance benefits by a maximum of $300 per month for those recipients who refuse to accept a job. Employment Minister Claude Bechard plans no new programs but intends to enforce the laws that had been passed by the Parti Quebec government that preceeded them.

PQ employment critic, Camil Bouchard points out that there is no new money to achieve these goals. Therefore, he argues, it is a disguised form of workfare as it will require people to work before they get welfare benefits.

Place a l’emploi, Room for Work, is designed to reduce the province’s current social assistance budget by $209 million per year by :reducing the number of households receiving assistance from 359,305 to 334,305 or by 25,000.

When the Partis Quebecois governed, the province adopted regulations whereby the refusal to accept a job carried a $150 per month reduction in social assistance for 12 months. Refusing a second job meant a second cut of an additional $150 per month for a total of $300 per month.

However, the PQ government never enforced these regulations, and had opted for a $75 per month assistance cut for any recipient who refused training.

The new point of entry into the job market for welfare recipients will be Emploi-Quebec where workers will take charge of applicants “in a very personal way” to help them find a job. Bechard also noted that within the next eight years there will be 640,000 jobs available with 350,000 jobs vacated as result of retiring baby boomers.

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