The provincial government is easing the burden on people who receive disability assistance, with an extra $52 a month for transportation costs. With the former B.C. Liberal government’s miserly treatment of the poor still fresh in many minds, the NDP seems determined to show a kinder face to those in need.

Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, said last week the first supplement will appear on Dec. 20 cheques, to cover the period beginning Jan. 1.

In a move that cemented its reputation for pinching pennies through the misery of people who couldn’t fight back, the former government raised payments to people with disabilities by $77 month, but at the same time started charging them $52 a month for a bus pass that used to cost $45 a year.

For many people, that slashed the increase to a paltry $25 a month