Affordability affects us all
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This article was published 14/09/2022 (258 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitobans are really feeling the pinch from inflation as things like groceries and transportation become more and more expensive. We are looking for a collaborative approach to help address the issue, and that is why the NDP caucus has called for all parties at the Manitoba Legislature to work together to find real solutions. Unfortunately, recent announcements by the Progressive Conservative government don’t adequately address the needs of Manitobans. We know over the last few years that Manitobans have experienced increased costs because of the province’s actions.
Many seniors are renters. Over the last two years, they have seen their taxes raised by $175 per year because the province reduced their education property tax tebate. Manitobans have seen double-digit increases to their Hydro bills since the PCs came to office. That’s hundreds of dollars out of people’s hands when it’s needed. Right now the PC government has a bill before the legislature that allows annual Hydro bill increases of five per cent. That will have a huge impact on many families living paycheque to paycheque.
We know that low-income folks are disproportionately affected by inflation, yet many are left behind by the PC approach. Students have seen the cost of university tuition increase by 18 per cent and college tuition by $1,000 more per year. Those needing physiotherapy after surgery are now having to pay for such services out of pocket.
Those costs can really add up. It’s more than nickels and dimes, which was the last increase the PC Government made to the minimum wage — an unacceptably low 15 cents per hour. Even now, this fall Manitoba will still have the second-lowest minimum wage in the country. That’s just not good enough. We believe that someone who works full time should not live in poverty.
There are solutions that can make life more affordable. The government can stop unfair rent increases. It can implement a living wage. It can make sure all workers have sick leave. It can stop making post-secondary education so expensive. And it can stop raising Hydro rates. We need affordability solutions that work for all Manitobans.
If you have a question or concern about affordability or anything else, please reach out to my office at 204-421-4241 or by email at email@example.com
Fort Garry constituency report
Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.