Archive for the ‘Social Security Policy Context’ Category

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‘It breaks my heart’: Ontarians on social assistance are struggling even more amid inflation

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

ODSP recipients recently got a 5 per cent rate increase. But advocates say that doesn’t make up for decades of neglect — or account for sky-high inflation… The PCs have repeatedly said that they will tie future rate increases for ODSP to inflation in law — each rate increase would, therefore, in some way keep up with the actual buying power of what recipients get in each cheque… At time of publication, no legislation to this effect is before the house. 

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How to reduce the depth of single adult poverty in Canada: Proposal for a Canada Working-Age Supplement

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

The CWAS would not only complement Canada’s existing social safety net, it would be transformative in advancing the idea that working-age single adults should be eligible for income support not because they’ve earned it as workers, but because they need it as people. The CWAS needs to be introduced and implemented without delay.

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When it comes to poverty and single adults, solutions need to be both principled and practical

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

… single adults with no children make up half of people living in deep poverty in Canada. Many of these adults have paid jobs and still live in poverty. Our current labour laws allow employers to pay workers poverty wages without benefits, subject them to unpredictable schedules, or misclassify employees as independent contractors – all of which mean that being employed is no guarantee of a decent income… Our systems collaborate to create poverty in many different ways.

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A Guaranteed Basic Income for Canadians: Off The Table or Within Reach?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Pilot projects… indicate that provinces are not in an ideal position to successfully implement an affordable and effective GBI. However, a GBI implemented by the federal government, financed by eliminating the GST credit and lowering personal tax exemptions, could be both effective and affordable. It could also do so without requiring the elimination of those provincial social assistance programs that are more deeply targeted toward people’s needs.

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Ottawa should stop clawbacks of pandemic benefits

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Groups such as Campaign 2000, which advocates to eliminate child and family poverty, have… pressed the federal government to ensure that benefits and refundable tax credits such as the Canada Child Benefit are not clawed back and that any lost benefits are restored. (Ottawa did act to restore Guaranteed Income Supplement payments that had been reduced or eliminated because of pandemic benefits.)

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The cost of living is rising. So why aren’t social-assistance rates?

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Year-over-year, Canada’s Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, rose 4.4 per cent — the highest rate since 2003 — in September… Shelter is up 4.8 per cent, and food is up 3.9 per cent. But ODSP benefits haven’t increased since the Doug Ford government halved a planned 3 per cent bump three years ago, saying the previous government had committed to spending money the province didn’t have… ODSP payments now are worth less than they were 17 years ago.

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Developing a costing for a basic income is not a neutral exercise

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Creating income floors for everyone in Canada is necessary and desirable, but basic income and income floor are not synonymous… Expanding and improving social assistance, increases in targeted tax credits and benefits, strengthening Employment Insurance, stronger labour standards, and investments in public services would be less costly, more effective, and have fewer negative consequences than the suggested basic income.

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Ensuring the success of Ontario’s vision for social assistance transformation

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

The overall vision that MCCSS has laid out for service delivery transformation is encouraging. However, it is important to recognize that the vision set out in the paper can only be realized if meaningful investments are made in public services. To that end, it does not appear that the government of Ontario has a plan to enable the vision’s success. There is only so much progress and fiscal room that can be made through streamlining administrative processes.

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Shaking up the systems: Fighting poverty in post-pandemic Canada

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

At the core of the questions raised by the NACP was the idea that we need structural change to reduce poverty in Canada… we offer a number of policy ideas that can help systematically reduce poverty… rooted in what the evidence tells us… the idea that everyone across Canada has the fundamental human right to live in dignity and participate fully in society, and it is the duty of all levels of government to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights.

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Life stabilization on a welfare income is impossible

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

… people’s lives cannot be stabilized without increasing social assistance rates. While they slowly starve, recipients will be required to “participate in prescribed employment and life stabilization assistance activities.”  But there is no clear plan to show how local service delivery agents will be able to co-ordinate life stabilization services that are notoriously in short supply, such as affordable housing, counselling and mental health services. And adding names to years-long waiting lists does not stabilize anything. In fact, it can have the opposite effect.

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