Posted July 31, 2018
The Ontario PCs have announced they are slashing a planned increase to social assistance rates. Around 940,000 OW and ODSP recipients were promised an increase of 3 per cent in the most recent Liberal budget, due to take effect in fall 2018. However, in an apparent bid to ram through cuts, the government has set a 100-day deadline to implement a series of reforms, including cutting the planned OW and ODSP rate increase from 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent and ending the basic income pilot.
With a small number of exceptions, the government has announced that all other initiatives passed in the previous budget will be scrapped. Other planned changes that are being thrown out include: an increase in the amount of employment income that can be earned without impacting social assistance benefits, set to rise to $400 per month in fall 2018 and with further increases planned; elimination of TFSA and RRSP savings limits; and increases to limits on cash and other assets. The personal needs allowance increase is being cut from a planned 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent. There is no mention of an increase to the comfort allowance, which was set to be raised by 2 per cent.
The government has indicated it aims to focus on employment over social assistance, "helping people lift themselves out of poverty", but has refused to say whether this means a return to the workfare program adopted by the Ontario Conservative government of the nineties.
ACORN members are fighting back! Join one of our local actions to show you reject this attack on people with disabilities and vulnerable workers:
- Toronto: August 9th at 10:45am - Meeting at the corner of Bay and College. From there we'll march to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on Grosvenor St. Contact torontoFO@acorncanada.org / (647) 771-2359
- Hamilton: Aug 9 at 1pm - Outside ODSP/OW Office (119 King St W). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org / (905) 393-5734
- Ottawa: Aug 9 at 12pm - Outside ODSP/OW Office (351 Preston Street). Contact email@example.com / (613) 746-5999 ext. 3
Take our online action here.