Provincial Green Party leader David Coon says if Premier Brian Gallant is so concerned with eliminating poverty, his government should raise social assistance rates.

He adds bureaucratic barriers that financially penalise the poor should also be removed. Coon says it makes no sense to cut people off social assistance when they become homeless and, as such, are at their most vulnerable.

Another barrier is the household income policy which prevents people on social assistance from sharing an apartment.

According to Coon, the provincial government should stop treating poverty as a crime.