Regina protesters want to stop changes to Sask. disability program
Government says changes will increase fairness, eliminate duplicate benefits
A group of protesters is calling on the provincial government to stop funding changes to disability programs in Saskatchewan.
About 40 people gathered outside the legislature in Regina on Wednesday, some holding signs saying "Budget Cuts Are Killing Us" and "Stand Up For People With Disabilities."
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About 2,700 people will see their benefits reduced when the province enforces changes to social assistance supplement programs being phased in by the provincial government.
One supporter of the rally, William Dinu, sent a letter opposing the changes.
He wrote that the changes are "disgraceful" and they reduce a person's ability to find "affordable, safe, clean living arrangements."
The government plans to stop exempting Seniors Income Plan and Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefits in the Saskatchewan Assistance Program and the Saskatchewan Assured Income Disability program.
In August, the government said the move was to streamline the programs to make them fair and equitable, because some clients were currently receiving triple rental supplements from different programs.
Dinu wrote in the letter that lower income housing is already becoming too costly for low income earners and people with disabilities.
The suggested changes, according to Dinu, could push people into inadequate housing or into homeless shelters.