The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is recommending food stamps be reduced from its recommended $2,000 to $1,500.
The CFA says the cut comes after the number of people who are unable to pay their food stamp benefits has skyrocketed.
In the first half of 2017, 7.7 per cent of food stamp recipients received payments from the federal government, the agency said in its policy announcement Monday.
That’s more than quadruple the 1.3 per cent average for the same time period last year.
“In light of the rising number of food-insecure families who are facing food insecurity, we have decided to reduce the maximum amount of food stamps they can receive to $2.50 per day,” the agency says in the announcement.
“It is important that people who qualify for SNAP and who are eligible for assistance receive sufficient SNAP benefits to cover their expenses.
In our experience, those receiving food stamps are less likely to be able to meet their SNAP requirements and to maintain their standard of living.”
The agency says that will help alleviate the impact on those who need assistance the most.
The cut comes just weeks after a major government-commissioned study found that Canadians with incomes above $80,000 are facing the greatest hardship, and the highest number of financial difficulties.
About 3.4 per cent are unemployed, and 2.7 million are living on less than $1.25 per day, the report found.
The government has said it’s working on ways to reduce hardship for those in poverty, and says there’s also some good news for those who work.
It’s encouraging to see the number and number of Canadians who are not currently in poverty dropping significantly.
We know that people with low incomes are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity.
We also know that food insecurity is linked to a number of other health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
– Agriculture Minister Navdeep BainsIn an interview with CBC’s The House, Agriculture Minister Nipigon Loh said the government is working on making sure Canadians can access the benefits they need.
In 2016, Loh announced a program to provide $2 per day to those on the minimum wage.
The government is looking at increasing the amount of money available to people with incomes up to $75,000.