Rebates should not be income

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Low-income residents in subsidized housing should not have to hand over part of their carbon rebates to keep a roof over their heads.

The NDP government introduced a new policy for those living in subsidized housing in September requiring carbon levy rebates to be reported as a source of income to calculate their monthly rent.

The effect will be higher rent. It may not add up to much – one resident who spoke to the Western Wheel estimates it could cost anther $5 per month.

By the NDP government’s own account, the rebates were created to help lower-income people.

It’s hard to see why it’s reasonable to factor the carbon levy rebates into monthly rental rates when other government rebates and credits, such as GST rebates and child tax benefits, are not. These are all not considered part of a person’s regular income and not factored in at tax time. Neither is the carbon rebate. Somehow, the Province thinks it’s okay to consider the carbon rebates when it’s time to decide how much a person living in social housing should have to pay each month.

This decision stands to hurt those who the NDP claims to want to help the most.

The Province needs to reverse this decision and protect its vulnerable citizens.

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