OTTAWA, ONTARIO, May 30, 2007—Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services are pleased to release to Canadians the seventh report on the progress of the National Child Benefit (NCB)1. The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2005 shows that the NCB is improving the economic well-being of low‑income families with children.
“The National Child Benefit initiative is a major tool in our collective fight against child poverty,” said the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and federal co‑chair of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services. “Canada’s New Government believes that Canadians should have choices and opportunities to participate in the work force. The National Child Benefit helps low-income families with children in a number of ways, including by reducing barriers to employment.”
“Federal, provincial and territorial governments are committed to improving the lives of Canadian children from low-income families,” said the Honourable Judy Streatch, Minister of Community Services for Nova Scotia and provincial co-chair of the National Child Benefit initiative. “The flexibility of the NCB has enabled jurisdictions to determine their own methods of achieving the NCB goals that include reducing child poverty, encouraging parents to find and keep jobs, and integrating government programs. This report demonstrates the real difference that governments’ support has made and continues to make to our country’s low-income families.”
The report contains an analysis that compares the actual child benefits structure in 2003 to what it would have been without the NCB, based on Statistics Canada’s post-tax low‑income cut-offs. The report shows that the NCB prevented 60,500 families and 159,000 children from living in low income in 2003.
Because of the NCB, in 2003, there were 12.4 per cent fewer low-income families than there would have been without the NCB. For these families, the average disposable income was higher by an estimated 9.7 per cent (about $2,600).
From a broader perspective, the report also provides information on general socio‑economic trends affecting families with children. The report indicates that while there was a slight increase in the percentage of low-income families with children from 11.4 per cent in 2002 to 11.7 per cent in 2003, affecting about 11,000 children, this was still well below the peak of 17.6 per cent in 1996.
In 2004-2005, the Government of Canada provided $8.9 billion to low- and middle‑income families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This includes $2.9 billion through the NCB Supplement and $3.6 billion through the CCTB base benefit to 1.6 million low-income families including 2.8 million children. By 2007-2008, the annual federal support delivered through the CCTB system is projected to reach $9.5 billion per year.
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 $899.2 million in 2004-2005. 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 labour 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: 2005 is available at http://www.nationalchildbenefit.ca/.
- 30 -
For more information (media only), please contact:
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
1In this document, references to joint federal/provincial/territorial reports do not include Quebec. While the Government of Quebec agrees with the basic principles of the National Child Benefit, it chose not to participate in this initiative because it wanted control over income support for children in Quebec. However, Quebec residents benefit from the increased Canada Child Tax Benefit and from important investments made by the Government of Quebec towards family and childhood services as part of Quebec’s Family Policy.