• Child benefits cut tax rate for families in Canada, OECD report finds

    At the turn of the century, a single-income family with two children in Canada had an effective tax rate of 14.2 per cent. That rate fell below 10 per cent after the Great Recession and dropped dramatically over the past two years… Over the same period, the net personal average tax rate for a single worker remained above 20 per cent.

  • Ontario ends onerous reviews for disabled people on welfare

    Beginning this month, those whose medical conditions have not improved will no longer be required to fill out the same forms they completed for their initial application for benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)… “The new process is simple, efficient and reduces a lot of the stress for patients and (medical) providers… And it is going to save the health care and social service system a lot of unnecessary costs.”

  • Canada Social Report: A Compendium of Social Information

    Over the past few years, the loss of data in Canada − especially the troubling dismantling of the long-form Census − inspired the Caledon Institute to launch this effort. The Canada Social Report acts as a major hub for social information. It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

  • Ontario families on welfare to keep full federal child benefit

    Ontario families on social assistance will not face provincial clawbacks when the new Canada Child Benefit kicks in on July 1… almost 260,000 children in families who rely on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program will benefit from the full amount of their federal child benefit payment. The new program replaces the current child benefit and supplement as well as the taxable Universal Child Care Benefit with a single non-taxable benefit. The average Canadian family is expected to receive an additional $2,300 a year under the new initiative.

  • Social assistance poverty gap skyrocketed

    In 2014, despite modest adjustments to social assistance rates and other supports such as the Ontario Trillium Benefit implemented by both the McGuinty and Wynne governments, the poverty gap for singles stood at a stark 59 per cent. Though smaller than the gap for single individuals receiving Ontario Works, the poverty gap for all family types has followed a similar pattern, growing dramatically over time. The poverty gap for the additional family types studied is between 30 and 40 per cent.

  • Ontario’s soaring poverty gap ‘starkest’ for single adults as welfare rates stagnate

    … it doesn’t make sense to make large increases to welfare rates without fixing the system’s hundreds of complicated rules that work to trap recipients in poverty. “It could work… as long as it… can look at the interaction with social housing, the minimum wage and other supports low-income people rely on.” Also in the mix are provincial plans… to pilot a Basic Income, a form of guaranteed annual income, and a housing benefit outside social assistance that promise to offer opportunities to help all low-income people, including those on welfare.

  • Guaranteed income the answer

    … administration of Ontario Works and ODSP… costs are just the tip of the iceberg to administer a system that keeps people in abject poverty, is punitive and provides little incentive for people to improve their economic circumstances… a GAI system similar to the federal Old Age Security… would reduce administration costs drastically, would restore dignity to low-income individuals and families and would provide more incentive to improve economic circumstances.

  • Fumbling at the top

    Community and Social Services Minister Helena Jaczek, was warned directly that there were “significant” problems with the system before it was launched back in November, 2014. Nonetheless, the government went ahead anyway – a move that eventually cost $52 million in fixes on top of the system’s $240 million price tag… This is the kind of thing that voters remember.

  • Canada Social Report – Social Assistance Summaries, 2015 edition

    With the help of provincial and territorial government contacts from across the country, we have updated the Social Assistance Summaries with 2015 data. Individual reports from the provinces and territories are now ready for download… Improving access to capital for Canada’s First Nation communities… Provincial/Territorial and Federal Policy Monitors

  • Fix for Ontario’s disability program is long overdue

    … doctors won’t have to fill out 21-page application forms again every time a recipient’s case comes up for a simple review. Nor will they have to re-do everything from psychological assessments to x-rays to back it up. That should provide savings in both medical tests and doctors’ time. It should also provide savings in legal aid, since so many applicants currently need help on the complicated review documents and appeals.