Income levels need to improve for people in poverty

Posted on July 24, 2013 in Inclusion Policy Context – open newsroom/letters/SoapBox
Jul 15, 2013.   Dwayne Barris

At first glance, it seems like applause should be in order for the provincial government’s commitment to their five-year poverty reduction plan. However, the government’s recent decision to only partially raise the Ontario Child Benefit is very disappointing for people living in poverty.

In fact, even with a full funding increase, the poor population would still be in crisis. According to Deb O’Connor, an anti-poverty advocate, in spite of government measures like the Ontario Child Benefit, the poverty rate has stayed high over the last 25 years with child poverty increasing during this time period.

The current provincial government poverty reduction plan does not provide near enough aid to people that are poor, but rather it seems like the government is just trying to do enough to quiet the masses that protest for the eradication of poverty.

Besides funding daycare and providing more affordable housing, one way the government could improve poverty rates is to raise minimum wage to a more livable level that coincides with the cost of living in that particular area.

The effects of this plan would be three-fold since a higher minimum wage would decrease the reliance of people requiring social assistance thus saving the government money, plus the government would be collecting more taxes from the additional disposable income that these individuals would now have.

Furthermore, since the government would be saving money on the cost of social assistance and collecting more taxes, a rebate could be passed on to the businesses that this plan affects.

Although this plan may have some pitfalls, the fact is that the income level of people in poverty needs to improve and it is the responsibility of government to care for their citizens.


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