99.6% of the approximately 900,000 people in Ontario who receive social assistance will not be part of Basic Income pilot


The Basic Income pilot has been announced. Also the provincial budget was announced – with a meagre 2% increase for OW and ODSP – less than inflation. So now we know more about the intention of Premier Wynne’s government.

4000 people will receive a Basic Income.  99.6% of the approximately 900,000 people in Ontario who receive social assistance will not receive the additional benefits recommended by Senator Hugh Segal.

We are interested to know what you think and how you feel about these announcements.

Please write back to us (hit reply to this email or email us at infopfib@gmail.com) with your comments on any or all of the following

  • the Basic Income pilot
  • the 2% increase in social assistance rates
  • How you feel about your community not being selected for the Basic Income pilot (or how you feel if it was selected)
  • If you participated in the Basic Income consultations – is this the outcome you expected?
  • What do you think we are going to have to do together to raise social assistance rates to a level that provides a life of health and dignity?

The Put Food in the Budget campaign is part of the Raise the Rates Coalition and a joint statement from the coalition follows below. 

ONTARIO BASIC INCOME PILOT – PEOPLE IN POVERTY CAN’T WAIT

 

The Liberal Government’s Basic Income Pilot Project will offer increased income to mere handfuls of people in just three communities.  It seems that just 4,000 people will be involved.  An additional 2000 will be part of a ‘control group’ who, incredibly, will not get the additional income.

99.6% of the approximately 900,000 people in Ontario who receive social assistance will not receive the additional benefits recommended by Senator Hugh Segal. The paltry 2% increase in social assistance rates contained in the Provincial Budget released on April 27 confirms that the Liberals have every intention of using this study as a way of delaying action on poverty.

During the three years the pilot runs and, for an extended period of study and deliberation after that, the vast majority of people in poverty will be expected to survive as best they can and trust that a sweeping measure of social reform will eventually emerge.

The Raise the Rates Coalition says there is no need to wait for the results of this test. Giving people increased income with less intrusion into their lives will be beneficial and, so, everyone on social assistance in Ontario should have their income raised to 75% of the Low Income Measure the test group will receive and with the same terms and conditions.  At the same time, the needs of Ontario’s low waged workers should be addressed by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The latter measure is especially important, given that up to 70% of those studied in the Basic Income pilot may be waged and we can’t allow the Government to design a de facto wage top up subsidy to employers who want to avoid paying decent wages.

We also note with alarm the role of a private sector consortium in this pilot and demand that it not be used as a Trojan horse to further an agenda of privatization.  Income support programs must be delivered as public services and not handed off to private interests.

The poor in Ontario have very little reason to trust Wynne Liberals when it comes to moving towards a system of adequate income.  For this Government, the pilot is a cynical ploy and a means of continuing to stall on taking meaningful action to address poverty. We demand Premier Wynne stop evading the central issue and raise the rates immediately and ensure that everyone on social assistance gets the levels of income proposed in the pilot project.

 

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Raise the Rates Coalition May 1, 2017


Put Food in the Budget

 

 

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