Ford government announces social assistance overhaul

Ford government announces social assistance overhaul

Ford government announces social assistance overhaul

"It was originally set to last three years, and explore the effectiveness of providing a basic income to those living on low incomes - whether they were working or not", writes the CBC.

"And our efforts to fix social assistance will go hand-in-hand with our commitments to reduce gas prices by 10% litre, lower hydro rates, and provide targeted tax relief for working parents and minimum wage earners, all of which will provide focused benefits to lower income families".

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, says the previous Liberal government left behind a patchwork system that the Progressive Conservatives will replace.

Doug Ford's government is cancelling the basic income pilot program and slowing down increases to income assistance.

The government's first steps, announced Tuesday, will be to cancel the previous Liberal government's plan to raise Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works rates by three per cent and raise them by 1.5 per cent instead. On the same day she also revealed a planned 3 per cent welfare increase for September would be cut in half. Said Schreiner. "Making cuts on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens will damage people's lives and end up costing the province more in health care, policing and emergency services".

The PC's will also wind down Ontario's basic income pilot project, which provided payments to 4,000 low-income people in Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.

Under the program's current guidelines, a single person would receive a maximum of $17,000 (Canadian) per year and a married couple would receive $24,000 (Canadian). "When you're encouraging people to accept money without strings attached it really doesn't send a message that our ministry and our government wants to send", she said Wednesday.

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