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National Child Benefit progress report: 2006

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Human Resources and Social Development Canada
government document
Publication Date: 
13 Jun 2008

Description: The National Child Benefit (NCB) is a joint initiative of Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments, which includes a First Nations component. The NCB initiative combines two key elements: federal monthly payments to low-income families with children, and benefits and services designed and delivered by the provinces, territories and First Nations to meet the needs of low-income families with children in each jurisdiction. The NCB initiative has three goals: • to help prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty; • to promote attachment to the labour market by ensuring that families will always be better off as a result of working; and, • to reduce overlap and duplication by harmonizing program objectives and benefits, and through simplified administration. The report contains an analysis that compares the actual child benefits structure in 2004 to what it would have been without the NCB. The report suggests that the NCB prevented 59,000 families with 125,000 children from living in low income in 2004, a 12.1 percent decrease. From a broader perspective, the report also provides information on general socio-economic trends affecting families with children. The report shows that the percentage of families with children living in low income has declined from a peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 11.6 percent in 2004. In 2005-2006, the Government of Canada provided $9.3 billion to low-and-middle-income families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). This includes $3.2 billion through the NCB Supplement and $3.7 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, including $3.7 billion through the NCB Supplement. 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 $873.9 million in 2005-2006. 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.