• What does the federal budget mean for low-income Canadians?

    Perhaps the most significant aspect of the budget in terms of poverty reduction was the announcement that the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) would become the more generous Canada Workers Benefit (CWB). This change… works by topping up the incomes of working people… once wages exceed a certain threshold the amount decreases with each dollar earned until it reaches zero.

  • How to make Ontario’s Budget 2018 the Income Security Budget

    Budget 2018 can deliver greater prosperity by increasing support to low-income workers, unpaid family carers, and those excluded from the labour market. In particular, Maytree offers recommendations in four areas: Modernizing Ontario’s response to working poverty… Protecting the poorest from falling further behind… Delivering housing affordability by investing in supply and demand… renewing investment in care and carers

  • From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health

    The three-year pilot project, which began in the Hamilton and Thunder Bay areas last summer and in Lindsay last fall, is testing whether unconditional cash support can boost health, education and housing for people on social assistance or earning low wages. Information gleaned from the three test sites will guide future provincial policy on how to better support all Ontarians living in poverty.

  • Pooled Risk Insurance Can Save Seniors from Cat Food

    Longevity insurance can provide a secure income stream at older ages without many of the criticisms associated with traditional annuities, but Canadian tax environment is unfavourable for private-market longevity risk products. MacDonald proposes a national, completely voluntary program that would give retiring Canadians the option to buy into a pooled fund that provides a stable income stream starting at age 85: Canada’s Living Income For the Elderly (LIFE).

  • Biting cold exposes deeper rot in Toronto’s attitudes to poverty

    … fixing short-term inadequacies will have to be paired with a more sweeping strategy involving all three levels of government to improve income security, strengthen mental health, addiction, and overdose prevention services, and make affordable housing the national priority it used to be. None of these things can or will happen until we acknowledge that the austerity consensus in public policy has been a failure; that real efficiency means actually meeting human needs rather than perpetually looking for and inventing new ways to cut public spending

  • Quebec’s bold new basic income offer: Does it benefit the right people?

    … while bolstering support for those unable to work, Quebec continues to embrace punitive measures for those deemed fit to work, particularly single men… beyond severe physical and mental disabilities, there are many barriers to employment, such as illiteracy, poor education, a criminal record and lack of decent work opportunities… There are many perverse disincentives that keep people trapped on welfare.

  • Quebec to inject $3 billion into anti-poverty program

    Individuals with a limited capacity to work… By 2023… will see their annual government assistance jump from $12,749 to $18,029, which will bring their income up to the poverty threshold. Quebec will pay a total of $1.2 billion to provide them with a basic income (or guaranteed minimum income), separate from rules imposed in the social assistance program. People deemed fit to work will continue to operate under the current social assistance system, with training and job search bonuses subsidized to varying degrees.

  • How expanding tax credits would help to lower our country’s welfare wall

    … while the new funding is welcome, the WITB is relatively ineffective in raising the incomes of the working poor, and does not greatly help social-assistance recipients transition to employment. It should be reformed so as to provide a supplement to wages in real time, should provide a higher maximum benefit and should be phased out much more slowly as employment income rises so as to reduce high marginal tax rates for the working poor.

  • Ontario urged to make ending child poverty an election issue

    Children and families who are Indigenous, racialized, newcomers, living with disabilities or in lone-parent, female-led households experience much higher rates of poverty, according to the 2016 census… almost 16 per cent of children in Canada were living in poverty in 1989 when Parliament unanimously pledged to end child poverty by 2000. But due to lack of federal action on the promise, child poverty in Canada rose to 22.3 per cent in 2000.

  • Liberal government urged to be more aggressive in tackling poverty

    The most recent international rankings of 41 developed nations shows Canada lags behind its peers in several areas related to poverty reduction. The UNICEF report placed Canada near the bottom in terms of global goals to end poverty in all its forms and ending hunger. Statistics Canada’s latest census data revealed that 1.2 million Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015, representing 17 per cent of all children.