Archive for the ‘Social Security Policy Context’ Category

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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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Ontario’s vision for social assistance is encouraging – but the budget tells a different story

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Last week’s provincial budget did not include significant funds for housing or other services that contribute to well-being… Current rates are woefully inadequate. The last time rates were increased was 2018. As the cost of living has continued to rise, this means that people have, in effect, had their rates cut during this period. To support people to live with dignity, social assistance must provide both sufficient income and access to services.

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Is it time to bury the idea of a universal basic income?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

… the real issue with basic income is a public commitment to an adequate income floor below which no one should fall when factoring in all income sources. A range of income support programs can provide universal coverage without being uniform in delivery as the recent B.C. study indicates… Highly diverse needs by age, gender, (dis)ability, family status, education, employment status, etc. suggest that income supports should be tailored to a wide variety of living circumstances within our population.

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‘Basic income’ isn’t the ticket to a fairer society

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

… what sense does it make to give everyone the same amount when some already have property and some don’t? When some live with disabilities or other problems, and others don’t? When some live in areas with a high cost of living, and some can live quite well on a lot less? … The authors of the B.C. report make a powerful case for working towards greater equity (including less poverty) through smarter, targeted measures.

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All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus Advances Guaranteed Livable Income as Part of Economic Recovery for All

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

This week, the All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus joined together, across the country and across the aisles of both chambers, to consider how to move forward toward Economic Recovery for All. Central to discussions was the common commitment to moving forward with guaranteed livable income, in coming budgets and other parliamentary and intergovernmental initiatives.

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Let’s turn social assistance on its head to make it better

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

I can’t help but be struck by just how bad our social assistance system in Ontario is… social assistance incomes are grossly inadequate. They have been for decades… it is possible to imagine a social assistance system that supports, rather than degrades, the people who use it… we can do better. To start, we must re-imagine a social assistance system that is founded on dignity and human rights.

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Social assistance: Do higher benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Do higher social assistance benefit levels lead to greater take-up? The short answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t increase benefit levels… There are many positive outcomes associated with higher social assistance benefit levels. Having said that, when policymakers decide to increase benefit levels, they should budget for some increased take-up.

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