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Provincial Government Announces a New Poverty Reduction Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

Press Release

November 8, 2023

The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced a new poverty reduction plan that focuses on improving the overall well-being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The new three-year phased plan is an important element of achieving the province’s goal of becoming one of Canada’s healthiest provinces by 2031, and is aligned with recommendations from Health Accord NL. To help ensure Provincial Government programs better meet the current needs of residents, the plan adds to other work currently underway, such as the review of means and income-tested programs like the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program and the Income Support Program.

The plan is supported by an investment that will grow to $85 million annually after three years. This is in addition to more than $900 million the Provincial Government allocated in Budget 2023 for social programming and support for lower income families and individuals.

This poverty reduction plan was informed by community stakeholders, Indigenous and municipal governments, and experts, including people with lived experience. As a result, the plan has four key focus areas and associated actions to better support the well-being of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. These include:

Reducing Childhood Poverty

  • Expanding the Prenatal-Infant Nutritional Supplement up to age five and renaming it the Early Childhood Nutrition Supplement to better reflect its expanded scope;
  • Increasing the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit by 300 per cent; and
  • Providing additional funding to ensure school lunch programs are available in all Pre-Kindergarten and K-9 schools.

Creating Meaningful and Sustainable Employment

  • Continuing the Employment Stability Pilot province-wide; and
  • Providing enhanced programming to train and connect non-employment insurance eligible individuals to employment.

Improving Income

  • Streamlining and improving the Income Support program benefits structure beginning with an immediate increase of $50 per month for the comfort allowance to a total of $175 monthly for those individuals staying in temporary accommodations such as emergency homeless shelters; and
  • Implementing a new targeted Basic Income Program for people age 60 to 64 currently in receipt of Income Support and the Community Supports Program through the Department of Health and Community Services.

Supporting Seniors

  • Implementing a second targeted Basic Income Program for people aged 60 to 64 who currently receive Income Support and the Community Supports Program through the Department of Health and Community Services. These same individuals will receive an increase in payments to match federal seniors benefits, which they will receive at age 65. This will allow for more adequate and stable financial supports.
  • A targeted poverty reduction plan for seniors will be released in the coming months. This will be informed by further stakeholder conversations to acquire more data.
  • The ongoing work of the Cabinet Committee on Seniors will continue and it is anticipated that further measures to help seniors manage the higher cost of living will soon be released.

Premier Furey was joined at the announcement by the Honourable Paul Pike, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, as well as Danielle Seward, Executive Director of the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Laura Winters, CEO of Stella’s Circle.


“As a government, we are strongly focused on creating a shift in how we collectively make life better for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, with a heightened focus on the social determinants of health in our spending and policy decisions. With today’s announcement of a new poverty reduction plan, we are taking the next critical step forward in our journey to further improve the health and well-being of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Our new poverty reduction plan focuses on addressing important social determinants of health, income and food security. Our focus was developed through listening to people with lived experience of poverty, community stakeholders and front-line staff. In addition to the actions announced today, we will continue to work with our community partners and across government to remove barriers for people to access the supports and services they need to improve their social well-being and health outcomes.”
Honourable Paul Pike
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

“The challenges facing today’s single-parent families have never been higher, due to concerns surrounding food insecurity and the increased cost of living. The Single Parents Association of Newfoundland and Labrador applauds the steps taken in today’s announcement to provide additional supports to those who are struggling province-wide. As our organization works to empower single-parent families in terms of affordability, food security and employment training, these changes will increase our ability to provide much-needed resources in their time of need.”
Danielle Seward
Executive Director, Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

“At Stella’s Circle, we are heartened to see increased access to resources for people marginalized by poverty. Centering voices of lived expertise builds better policies and we welcome system change which addresses barriers to better respond to individuals in need. We are very pleased to see this thoughtful response to community advocacy toward poverty reduction that empowers individuals and families in our province to realize more independent and inclusive lives.”
Laura Winters
CEO, Stella’s Circle


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Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development

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