That’s what Robert Mackay, a social assistance recipient who lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, does. He couldn’t survive without relying on his line of credit, a line of credit he had taken years ago.
It allows me to avoid jumping off the bridge, so to speak, so that I don’t have to live in sheer misery from day to day […]so it makes my life that bearable, but of course it comes with a cost and some uncertaintySays Robert MacKay.
It’s a bit scary for me to talk about a topic like this for obvious reasonsHe said.
But Robert Mackay, who is also co-chair of the Common Front for Social Justice, says the problem is widespread, and agrees to talk about it in hopes of making a difference, acknowledging that most people don’t dare testify publicly.
Food is a big concern
According to a recent study by Statistics Canada, inflation has reduced the ability of three out of four Canadians to afford daily expenses such as transportation, housing, food and clothing.
Seventy-three percent were affected by this price increase in their ability to cover their daily expensesLauren Pinault, an analyst with Statistics Canada, confirms.
According to the data collected, there are few differences from one province to another.
Although we often hear about rising gas prices, for Canadians as a whole, rising food prices is the most worrying.
” There are many people who do not buy gasoline, but everyone has to eat. »
So when you think this way, it really wouldn’t be a big surpriseRemember, Lauren Pinault.
Rising food prices are forcing more and more people to turn to food banks. One in five Canadians thinks they will soon have to turn to a food bank to get enough food.
A quarter of Canadians borrow to meet basic needs
Statistics Canada has found that Canadians use several means to meet their basic needs.
We are trying to cut spending in a thousand ways. Forty-seven percent of people buy alternative products, or less expensive items. Forty-five postpone their purchases.
But we also see that 27% of people use credit, in various forms, to purchase food and other basic necessities. Some borrow money from friends or relatives, or use credit from financial institutions.
According to Statistics Canada, it is the low-income families that turn first and foremost to credit for food. These are mainly young people aged 39 or younger, but not exclusively, and families with at least one child.
At the same time, 30% of people said they save less, and 20% are no longer able to save at all.
Go into debt to survive
Robert Mackay, who is unable to work due to various disabilities, says he cannot live on the $590 he receives each month in social assistance.Extra $300 on my credit line, every month, sometimes 400, 500, it depends, sometimes just a hundred “,” text “:” Every month, I can add an extra $300 to my credit line, every month, sometimes, 400 , 500, it depends, sometimes just a hundred “}}”>I can add $300 a month to my credit line, sometimes 400, 500 every month, it depends, sometimes just a hundredhe explains.
Little by little, his indebtedness increases, and it is clear that he has to pay interest every month.
But he is not the only one in this case. Not many people dare to speak out about what they are going through, but their challenges are growing nonetheless. He believes that his case is only the tip of the iceberg.
As poor households get poorer, financial institutions benefit, according to Robert Mackay:
Banks are making record profits even during this high inflation and all.
Government aid that will be absorbed quickly
In Quebec, the Legault government has chosen to pay the $500 payment to citizens with incomes less than $100,000. Instead, the New Brunswick government chose to provide financial assistance to families and individuals receiving social assistance.
$, a little drop in the bucket here […]and 450Dollars for families to adapt to this thing, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so we need more help from the government,” text “:” For me, it’s going to be $225, which is a small amount in the pool here. […]and $450 for families to fit this thing, but it’s a one-time deal, so we need more help from the government.”}}”>For me it would be $225, a small drop in the bucket here […]and $450 for families to fit in this thing, but it’s a one-time deal, so we need more help from the government.Robert Mackay fired.
Prime Minister Blaine Higgs hasn’t completely closed the door to additional assistance, but he has made no commitment whatsoever.
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