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Sweet spot for low-wage earners: after-tax salaries of $30,000 or more a year

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Feb 10 2012
… low-wage workers experience the biggest jump in financial well-being, personal skills and connections to family and community when their after-tax incomes rise to between $30,000 and $40,000. “This is when a single wage earner moves from merely existing to living,” says Peter Frampton, executive director of the Learning Enrichment Foundation, which is conducting the research in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)… “We think this shows in very real terms what a person needs to earn to feel a sense of financial and personal well-being,”

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Posted in Debates | 2 Comments »

Small fixes to Ontario’s welfare system not enough, says progress report

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Feb. 2, 2012
Small fixes will not be enough to bring about the transformational change Ontario’s social assistance needs, says a progress report by the province’s social assistance review commission. More employment support for those on welfare, including those with disabilities; streamlined delivery and new benefits available to all low-income people outside the welfare system are some of the ideas the commission is exploring… the update discusses different approaches and highlights areas for more discussion.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Closing the gap between EI and welfare

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Jan 01 2012
Last year, more than 700,000 unemployed Canadians were either not covered by EI or ineligible… Under Mendelson’s proposal, income-tested forgivable loans would be available in bi-weekly payments of almost $700 for six months. The loans would be repaid based on total earnings for the year the money was received — they would be completely forgivable for those with incomes below about $10,000 and fully repayable for those earning about $71,000… All adults looking for work would be eligible for the full loan of almost $9,000 every five years and it would could cost the federal government about $1 billion annually.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Minimum wage hike key to cutting poverty

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Dec 17 2011
“The government says the best route out of poverty is a job… But people working full time earning minimum wage are still having trouble paying the bills… And enforcement is key to ensuring workers get what they are owed. “Any initiative the government takes to alleviate poverty for low wage workers has to be backed up by enforcement”… The report urged Ontario’s labour ministry to proactively target employers in high-violation industries such as hospitality, cleaning, retail and construction, which attract newcomers, young workers, visible minorities and other vulnerable workers.

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Posted in Delivery System | No Comments »

Price of moving from welfare to work? $400

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Dec 14 2011
… his college dreams of training to become a firefighter were dashed when Seneca insisted he make a $400 tuition down payment by Friday or forfeit his place in class. St Clair’s monthly welfare cheque is just $565 and he had already spent more than $300 of that on December rent for the subsidized apartment he shares with his mother… The welfare office wouldn’t help because tuition is covered by OSAP. But his OSAP loan won’t be available until he starts classes on Jan. 9… “I really want to get off welfare, but I don’t think I can do that unless I go back to school,” he said.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | No Comments »

Child poverty easing in Ontario, report says

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Dec 04 2011
A 2009 decision to boost the Ontario Child Benefit to cushion struggling families during the recession helped pull 19,000 children out of poverty, advocates say in a new report on the province’s anti-poverty efforts. But on the third anniversary of Ontario’s Dec. 4, 2008 pledge to cut child poverty by 25 per cent by 2013, more action is needed… “Targeted action is urgently needed, including expanding poverty reduction targets to include adults — especially singles — and addressing equity for groups more at risk of poverty”…

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | No Comments »

Start school at 2, study urges

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Nov 22 2011
Early Years 3 is the second update of Mustard and McCain’s groundbreaking 1999 Early Years Study. The first update was in 2007… Provinces have embraced the overwhelming social, economic and scientific evidence favouring investments in early-childhood education and are steaming ahead with plans and programs, says the report. McCain said “the message echoes from one coast to the other,” adding that “if the federal government jumped on board, Canada would be ready to explode in this area and be a model for the world, certainly for North America.”

Posted in Education Delivery System | No Comments »

Party platforms thin on fighting poverty, says coalition

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Sep 29 2011
Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives have made no campaign commitments to help vulnerable children and families get ahead, says a coalition of anti-poverty groups that has analyzed the various party platforms for the Oct. 6 election. But the Liberals, NDP and Greens offer only limited solutions to ending child and family poverty, according to the analysis by Ontario Campaign 2000, which has joined with the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction in calling for more political attention to the issue.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | 1 Comment »

Canada urged to spend smarter to cut poverty

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Sep 28 2011
It would have taken $12.6 billion to give the 3.5 million Canadians living in poverty enough income to live above the poverty line in 2007. And yet Canadians spent at least double that amount treating the consequences of poverty that year, says the National Council of Welfare… Instead of focusing on short-term spending that simply enables people to survive or be a little less disadvantaged, Canada should be investing in longer-term plans to permanently lift people out of poverty and prevent others from falling into its grip, says the report.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

Workers call for tougher labour laws to end wage theft

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Sep 05 2011
Last year, Ontario workers were entitled to $21.4 million in unpaid wages against solvent companies and almost $43 million in unpaid wages against bankrupt or insolvent employers, according to labour ministry documents… Ontario’s Employment Standards Act sets out the province’s minimum workplace regulations and is the only protection against abuse for low-paid, vulnerable workers. Since the act is more than 40 years old, Ladd says it never contemplated the complex work environment that includes temporary employment agencies, sub-contractors, franchises and live-in caregiving.

Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »

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