Introduction - This research paper will present an evaluation of the 1997 Federal National Child Benefit Act. The NCB was introduced as a way to aid poor working families which include children override income disparities which exist between them and families in higher economic brackets. Research determining the economic disparities that exist within and between nations has shown that the working poor (and those on welfare) need to spend an equal amount of their income on their children, but simply do not have the income to spend that wealthier citizens have.(Meyers and Gornick, 2003). This leads to vertical income disparities by region, across nations, and between different societies with different concepts of social welfare policies. (Meyers and Gornick, 2003) In Canada families face what is called a welfare wall.' This is the supposed wall of challenge which prevents families on welfare from seeking work, as their actual disposable net income falls to levels that might be equal to, or below, what they were receiving when on welfare.
[...] The national child benefit has shown to improve only a marginal improvement in singe parent households, Canada has one of the highest rates of single parent low income families in the world www.campaign2000.ca. Therefore the NCB, which was implemented to reduce child poverty, has not succeeded in its aims. Benefits and Limitations of Policy Solutions Sayeed notes that Manitoba may be the most progressive province in their interpretation of the NCB provisions. While clawbacks are still a problem in Manitoba, the province has instituted programs that seem to actually be making a difference with regards to the linking of child poverty, mother's needs and health, as it is understood in a more holistic way. [...]
[...] Saskatchewan and Alberta have similar reinvestment schemes which they claim, in official government websites, connected via links to the main national NCB data base, run by the national government, are successfully improving the lives of the working poor and alleviating child poverty rates in Canada. (http://www.nationalchildbenefit.ca/ncb/thenational1.shtml) The web site claims that the Federal and provincial governments work in concert with First Nations people, and that part of the mandate of the program is to eliminate overlapping government programs. (http://www.nationalchildbenefit.ca/ncb/thenational1.shtml) This last statement coincides with the general trend in neo-liberal societies to streamline and downsize government programs as positive solutions to economic problems. [...]
[...] htm) This is the kind of comprehensive child care and benefit program that Canada needs to move towards implementing. Conclusion Child care costs are the same, no matter what economic bracket a family is in; but the ability to pay for services that improve the lives of children and make it possible to spend time with children while also working to support their economic needs is a luxury in Canada when it should be a right. The philosophy of the deserving and undeserving poor girds the neo- conservative leanings of government policy and private solutions to social problems; obviously this approach does not work and needs comprehensive overhauling through national and local grassroots initiatives examining problems in concert and coming up with needed solutions, from national daycare programs to early childhood education and care programs, to economic benefits which aid and encourage single mothers [...]
[...] (Seklezky:2) As Seklezky, notes in Toronto the amount of money given out through the program amounts to $ 3.65 per child per day after all other household and family expenses are calculated. (Seklezky:2) This is hardly enough money to properly care for children's various needs. In Canada, says Charles Seiden, national director of the Canada Association of Food Banks, poor people have to choose often between either paying their rent or buying food. (Seklezky: In Toronto, Seiden states, this translates into a situation where 25% of all children go hungry once a week and 34% have nothing to eat at least once a month. [...]
[...] By increasing labor force participation, child care enhances economic growth and employment income, which in turn raise tax revenues and reduce expenditures on social supports such as welfare, health and social services an essential element of antipoverty policy, both in enabling parents to climb the welfare wall by training and working, and in lessening the learning and health risks faced by poor children.” (Battle and Torjman: The NCB plan does not work because there is no comprehensive national child care plan in Canada which would work in coordination together. [...]
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