Welfare hike promised

There will be a promise to raise welfare rates in British Columbia in the government's throne speech on Thursday, which is expected to set in motion the defeat of the Liberals after more than 16 years in office.

Social Development Minister Michelle Stilwell says the government wants to raise rates after freezing them for more than a decade, although she wouldn't release details today on the size of the increase.

Stilwell did not dispute reports of a $100-a-month increase being planned to take effect either this September or in January.

A single person on welfare in B.C. receives $610 a month.

The New Democrats and Greens have an agreement to defeat the minority Liberal government in a confidence vote in the days that follow the throne speech.

Last month's election saw the Liberals win 43 seats, one seat shy of a majority in the 87-seat legislature.

Under the deal between the NDP and Greens, the New Democrats would get a chance to form a government using their combined 44 seats.

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