ontario news watch

Liberals set aside little for disability benefit, despite spending boast: advocate

OTTAWA — An advocacy group for people with disabilities says the federal government set aside very little money for a new benefit, despite a Liberal minister’s claim that it is the biggest line item in the budget.

The government put $4.8 billion over five years toward the new program, which will provide low-income people with disabilities a maximum of $200 per month.

Last week, the government released data showing the program is expected to lift only 25,000 people out of poverty — far short of the hundreds of thousands the Liberals promised to help.

The minister for people with disabilities, Kamal Khera, has repeatedly defended the program by saying it was the “single largest line item in the budget,” which is not true.

Her office later clarified that it is the largest new program in the 2024 budget.

Disability Without Poverty director Rabia Khedr says annual spending on the benefit falls far short of other programs like the Canada Child Benefit and the guaranteed income supplement for seniors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press