Ministers Responsible for Social Services Release the Ninth National Child Benefit Progress Report.
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services are pleased to release to Canadians the ninth report on the progress of the National Child Benefit (NCB).(1) The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2007 shows that the NCB is improving the economic well-being of families with children living in low income.
"Our government is committed to supporting Canadian families and their children. This report shows that the National Child Benefit initiative is making a difference and supports 2.8 million children," said the Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Federal Co-Chair of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services. "In 2009-2010, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, including the National Child Benefit Supplement, has been enhanced and made accessible to more families. This directly benefits low income families. Governments in Canada will continue to work together to assist families with the cost of raising their children."
"This latest report indicates that we are making a meaningful impact on the well-being of families," said the Honorable Gord Mackintosh, Manitoba's Minister of Family Services and Consumer Affairs and Provincial Co-Chair of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Social Services Forum. "The National Child Benefit, in combination with the various federal, provincial and territorial initiatives, is helping families across Canada to overcome poverty and support positive beginnings for children."
The report contains an analysis that compares the actual child benefits structure in 2005 to what it would have been without the NCB. Using the Market Basket Measure of low income, the report shows that the NCB prevented 78,800 families with 171,100 children from living in low income in 2005. This means that there were 13.7 percent fewer low-income families as a result of the NCB.
From a broader perspective, the report also provides information on general socio-economic trends affecting families with children. Over the long term, using Statistics Canada's Low Income Cut-Offs poverty measure, the report shows that the percentage of families with children living in low income has declined significantly from a peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.5 percent in 2005.
The Federal Government contributes to the initiative through the National Child Benefit Supplement. This supplement provides extra support to low-income families with children by topping up the monthly payments they receive through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) system.
In 2006-2007, the Government of Canada provided $9.4 billion to low-and middle-income families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This includes $3.5 billion through the NCB Supplement and $3.6 billion through the CCTB base benefit to 1.5 million low-income families including 2.8 million children. In 2008-2009, the annual federal support delivered through the CCTB system was $9.4 billion including $3.6 billion through the NCB Supplement.
Provincial, territorial, First Nations, and other federal reinvestments and investments in NCB programs and services for low-income families with children were estimated to be $833.6 million in 2006-2007. This funding supports programs and services such as child/day care initiatives, child benefits and earned-income supplements, early childhood and children at risk services, supplementary health benefits, and youth initiatives.
The goals of the NCB are to prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty, promote attachment to the labor market by ensuring that families will always be better off as a result of working, and reduce overlap and duplication. The regular release of reports on the NCB demonstrates the commitment of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services to report to Canadians on progress towards these goals.
The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2007 is available on the following Web site: www.nationalchildbenefit.ca/.
(1) The Government of Quebec has stated that it agrees with the basic principles of the NCB. Quebec chose not to participate in the NCB because it wanted to assume control over income support for children in Quebec; however, it has adopted a similar approach to the NCB. Throughout this report, references to joint federal/provincial/territorial positions do not include Quebec.
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