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Cecile Cassista. Image: Submitted

New Brunswick seniors needs more support: advocate

By Regis Phillips Nov 23, 2023 | 6:19 AM

A New Brunswick seniors advocate says she thinks more can be done to help seniors in the province.

The provincial government announced Tuesday that it will implement affordability measures to help residents with financial issues.

“I would’ve liked the government to be much more aggressive and take off the heating tax we have on our heating bills for seniors living at home,” said Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

“I don’t know why the government fails to recognize the work we’ve been doing for the last 20 years; they just seem to nickel and dime us.”

In a news release, the government detailed their implemented measures, which will include:

  • A $200 Low-Income Seniors’ Affordability Supplement to recipients of the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit for the year. This supplement, in addition to the existing $400 Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit, will remain in place until the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit is permanently increased to $600.
  • Effective January, a policy change for spousal contributions to facility-based care ensures that at least 60 percent of the household income remains with the spouse at home.
  • Effective in February, a monthly $200 household supplement for social assistance recipients and youth engagement services recipients to help with the rising cost of food and shelter.

“Whenever money comes in to help the aging population, we welcome it. However, a $200 increase will not benefit all the seniors; only those on OAS (Old Age Security) will receive the increased supplements,” continued Cassista.