Social Development Minister Madeline Dubé

Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé says the rate increases are part of the Alward government's plan to reduce poverty in the province. (CBC)

Many social assistance clients in New Brunswick will see a four per cent increase in their monthly payments, effective Tuesday.

There is no increase for people in the single employable individuals category. Their cheques remain at $537 per month.

But a single parent family with one child will receive about $60 more every month, bringing the payment to $861.

A two parent family will receive a few dollars more than that.

Those who are disabled with get $45 more a month, for a monthly total of about $643.

"Reducing, preventing and alleviating poverty in New Brunswick is an important focus of our government as we work to rebuild New Brunswick together," Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé said in a statement.

"Increasing social assistance rates is among the ways we are responding to those experiencing poverty."

Other reforms include:

  • Enhancing the wage exemption policy.
  • Adding a new exemption to the household income policy.
  • Providing additional supports for families with high shelter costs.
  • Improving assistance for clients with disabilities who live with their parents.

Even with the latest changes, however, New Brunswick has among the lowest social assistance rates in Canada.

Advocates for the poor have said the increase is welcome news after five years without one, but it will still be difficult for clients to make ends meet.

An additional three per cent hike is slated for April, 2014.