MHA emphasizes benefit of new seniors’ fund
Newfoundland and Labrador’s seniors are members of a generation that built our province, and saw us steadily through some of our most challenging times.
Through their hard work, their pioneer spirit, and their unwavering sense of community, we now have the beautiful province we call home. This being the case, we owe our seniors a great deal of gratitude.
Our government shares this value. Though Newfoundland and Labrador again faces a challenging time, with many individuals being asked to share in the difficult financial measures these times have demanded, we believe lowincome seniors deserve a break. For this reason, a key initiative in Budget 2016 was the creation of an Enhanced Seniors’ Benefit. This was part of $76.4 million in funding allocated to protect vulnerable members of Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities.
On Oct. 5, eligible seniors in our province will receive the first installments of the Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors’ Benefit. Seniors whose net incomes meet the eligibility threshold will receive a lump sum consisting of two seniors’ benefit payments.
This payment will cover the period from July to December. Going forward, eligible seniors will receive one payment per quarter, distributed in the same payment as the quarterly GST rebate.
Recognizing that financial matters can be complex and confusing, we have made the process as sim- ple as possible. Any senior who has filed a tax return for 2015 will be assessed for eligibility. Those who are eligible will be automatically issued seniors’ benefit payments, with no effort on their part beyond cashing the cheque that will be mailed to them on Oct. 5.
Though we are required to confront some difficult truths about Newfoundland and Labrador’s financial position, we recognize that we have an obligation to protect our low-income seniors.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors’ Benefit payments, which will be distributed on Oct. 5, are proof positive of our intention to do just that.
Betty Parsley is the MHA for Harbour Main