Poverty Reduction and Disability Income

CaledonInst.org – Publications
February 2017.   Sherri Torjman

For years, Caledon has written about the need for a reformed architecture of income security in which constituent programs are adequate in both absolute and relative terms, portable across the country and respectful of human dignity.

There is currently scant financial assistance available for working poor individuals and heads of households between ages 18 and 64. Caledon has argued for increases to the Working Income Tax Benefit, which is too modest to have a real impact on poverty. Neither are Canadians in this age group well served by the disability income system. Caledon has proposed a separate income program that would be run by the federal government and would replace provincial/territorial welfare for working age persons with severe disabilities. The design of the proposed Basic Income would be modelled on the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors. The new benefit would be more adequate than current welfare programs and would be indexed. As part of this income security redesign, a negotiated accord would require reinvestment of provincial/territorial savings into a coherent system of disability supports for all persons with disabilities – whether working or on some program of income support.

ISBN – 1-55382-682-5

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