NationalOpinion

Burlap Sack: UCP budget changes to AISH

Is this really a way to save money, or just a way to keep people down?

I know what you’re thinking: “Yay, another article about the UCP budget!” But it just seems to get worse with each passing day, so we have to keep talking about it. As expected, corporations received tax cuts, but the budget negatively impacts everyday people the most. 

A group of people being targeted by this budget are the recipients of Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH). Prior to the release of the budget, those on AISH received $1600 a month. Now they will receive $30 less per month, and payments will no longer be indexed to the Consumer Price Index. But hey, it’ll save $10 million this year, so it’s worth it, right?

Wrong. $1600 a month is already low, and cutting that money will make it harder for those who receive it to get by. Instead of taking money from those who need it most, why not tax the billionaires? Why not tax corporations? Why make the already impoverished struggle even more?

It’s because our society values money and the economy more than the health and well-being of actual people. Cutting AISH is ableist, full stop. The UCP operates under the guise of wanting a balanced budget, but the areas that received the most cuts show it’s more than that. It’s an attack on the working class. It’s an attack on students. It’s an attack on the differently-abled. If it was just about money, the easiest way to achieve that goal would be to increase taxes for the wealthy. 

In short, the UCP budget represents a disregard for the middle and lower classes and the more vulnerable members of society, including those on AISH. And yet while it was very clear something like this would happen, people still voted UCP.

Even more disappointing than the bare-bones budget is the knowledge that people were willing to overlook the damage they would cause to the more vulnerable members of society, either because they care about the economy more than people, or because they bought into all the rhetoric and never bothered to think critically. Either way, we’ll be living with the consequences as long as the UCP remains in power.

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