More seniors and low-income Nova Scotians will get help making ends meet with increases in government support taking effect the first week of July. The personal use allowance for people on income assistance and the property tax rebate for seniors will both increase. The income assistance boost is effective Monday, July 1 and the property tax rebate increases starts Tuesday. “We know Nova Scotians want to be independent and provide for themselves and their families. Stronger families make for a stronger, healthier province, something that benefits us all,” said Mat Whynott, MLA for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, on behalf of Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. “With these investments, we are continuing to make life better for more Nova Scotian families and seniors.” The personal use allowance for those on income assistance will rise by $17 a month, helping more than 30,000 adults better provide for themselves and their families. This is the third year in a row the province has increased the allowance, part of an overall 22 per cent increase in income assistance since 2009. The Seniors Property Tax rebate rises to $800 from $600. About 15,000 low-income seniors are currently benefitting from the program. The province will invest an additional $650,000 to help more than 5,000 receive a higher rebate, putting more money back in the pockets of seniors. The program is available to seniors receiving the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement, who live in their own homes and paid their previous year’s property taxes in full. “Anything we can do to help our older citizens stay in their own homes as long as they want to, is most welcome by all who care about aging Nova Scotians,” said Bill VanGorder, chair, Group of IX seniors advisory group. “This is another step in the right direction of recognizing the varying needs that exist.” “We know how important it is for seniors to live as independently as possible, for as long as possible,” said Mr. Whynott. “These commitments represent a significant investment in supports to help Nova Scotians struggling to make ends meet.” Both investments were introduced in the 2013-14 budget. Since 2009, government has increased investments to help more families make life better for Nova Scotians, including introducing Nova Scotia’s first housing strategy, increasing minimum wage, adding 250 child care subsidies, building more affordable housing and removing the provincial portion of the HST from home heating, children’s shoes, clothing and diapers. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/coms.