Excerpts from the press release:
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services are pleased to release to Canadians the seventh report on the progress of the National Child Benefit (NCB). The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2005 shows that the NCB is improving the economic well-being of low income families with children. …
The report contains an analysis that compares the actual child benefits structure in 2003 to what it would have been without the NCB, based on Statistics Canada's post-tax low income cut-offs. The report shows that the NCB prevented 60,500 families and 159,000 children from living in low income in 2003. Because of the NCB, in 2003, there were 12.4 per cent fewer low-income families than there would have been without the NCB. For these families, the average disposable income was higher by an estimated 9.7 per cent (about $2,600). From a broader perspective, the report also provides information on general socio economic trends affecting families with children. The report indicates that while there was a slight increase in the percentage of low-income families with children from 11.4 per cent in 2002 to 11.7 per cent in 2003, affecting about 11,000 children, this was still well below the peak of 17.6 per cent in 1996.
In 2004-2005, the Government of Canada provided $8.9 billion to low- and middle income families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This includes $2.9 billion through the NCB Supplement and $3.6 billion through the CCTB base benefit to 1.6 million low-income families including 2.8 million children. By 2007-2008, the annual federal support delivered through the CCTB system is projected to reach $9.5 billion per year. Provincial, territorial, First Nations, and other federal reinvestments and investments in NCB programs and services for low-income families with children were estimated to be $899.2 million in 2004-2005. This funding supports programs and services, such as child/day care initiatives, child benefits and earned-income supplements, early childhood and children at risk services, supplementary health benefits, and youth initiatives.
The goals of the NCB are to prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty, promote attachment to the labour market by ensuring that families will always be better off as a result of working, and reduce overlap and duplication. The regular release of reports on the NCB demonstrates the commitment of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services to report to Canadians on progress towards these goals.