Archive for the ‘Social Security Debates’ Category

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Why do provinces often confiscate federal benefits from people who clearly need them?

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

Taken together, as many as 52,000 people on social assistance receive federal and provincial benefits that are subject to complete clawbacks… Those clawbacks poured about $34 million into provincial coffers in April… Ontario isn’t ready to give any of that money back to people such as Demerse by treating EI the same as CERB during the pandemic… it may be time to consider uploading social assistance to the federal level and leave provinces to continue offering supports such as employment training, prescription drugs, dental and vision care for low-income residents

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The CERB is nothing like a basic income, but it might be the platform we use to build one

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

the possibility that today’s pandemic-induced mass unemployment may continue for longer than anticipated makes reform of income support both more likely and more urgent. And the general idea of a basic income – a single, unconditional transfer, without the intrusive and bewildering eligibility requirements that demean its recipients and leave many others without – remains as valid as ever… The CERB, for all its limitations, has created the precedent for a federal benefit of this kind. Maybe there’s an opening here, after all.

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CERB and other coronavirus benefits won’t last forever. Or will they? What a universal basic income could look like

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

We long for some good to come from this crisis, some national purpose that future generations will point to and say: There, that is when the new world began, when we started to win the war on poverty with an income for all. But maybe a basic income is simply beyond our means… We’ll predict this much: When the crisis finally ends, we’ll be talking about basic income in a way we never have before.

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COVID-19 presents lessons in how a guaranteed basic income program could work

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Basic income can be designed to target only those who need a top-up to provide for and maintain a very basic standard of living. And it can be implemented with speed, simplicity and efficiency by the keepers of our tax files, the Canada Revenue Agency… Fifty members of the present Senate (from the left, right and centre) have written to the government recommending that transition planning work be done now…

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Trudeau rejects turning CERB’s $2,000 a month into a universal benefit for Canadians

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

“We feel that targeting the maximum amount of help to the people who needed it quickly was the right way to begin to get through this process.” … A group of 50 senators from different political and partisan backgrounds signed an open letter to Trudeau on Tuesday, also calling for the CERB to be turned into a universal benefit… A universal payment would ensure greater social and economic equity as well as greater efficiency, the senators say.

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CERB is an unintended experiment in basic income

Monday, April 20th, 2020

… we have a historic opportunity for Ottawa, the provinces and territories to reshape cash transfers for Canadians who have low incomes, regardless of the reason why. COVID-19 could create a legacy: an income-support system that is efficient, non-stigmatizing, encourages work and is sufficient to provide better health outcomes and liquidity for people and communities. This would be a streamlined national reform vital to the economics of rebuilding and recovery.

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Ontario seeks more information from Ottawa on how to treat CERB for people on social assistance

Friday, April 17th, 2020

… until the province determines how to treat the CERB, case workers have been told not to record the income in Ontario’s computerized benefits system, where the extra cash may trigger automatic clawbacks and even termination of benefits, including drug and medical coverage… A coalition of more than 130 health-care workers, community agencies and Ontarians living in poverty … [are] urging Queen’s Park to boost social assistance rates and not to claw back the CERB from those on OW and ODSP.

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PM’s COVID-19 aid underlines the potential benefits of universal basic income

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

As Annie Lowrey highlights in her book “Give People Money,” UBI would “ensure that every person had some minimal level of capital and, thus, some minimal level of choice.” This is extremely important for the well-being of society… The economic right, on the other hand, sees UBI as an opportunity to get rid of governmental bureaucracy and inefficiencies. It views UBI as a way to replace existing allowance programs, tailored over many years, with an efficient, one-cheque solution.

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Open Letter urges Ontario to boost support for people on social assistance

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

A coalition of more than 130 health care workers, community agencies and Ontarians living in poverty is urging Queen’s Park to increase benefits immediately to almost one million residents on social assistance struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis… the coalition says in an open letter to Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith… “If we are to weather this storm together, we must ensure that nobody in Ontario is left behind”

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Trudeau just green lit a ‘basic income’ for Canadians

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

… a basic income will cost $43 billion annually to implement across Canada. If we factor in provincial income assistance – and get rid of this inadequate cluster of systems – we’re down to $23 billion dollars a year… Incidentally, that’s what we pay every year to make the Canada Child Benefit happen – and not quite half the cost of both the OAS and GIS… let this pandemic be a catalyst for permanent action to stabilize the lives of millions of Canadians and create a healthier, more equitable Canada.

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