It’s time to cut the red tape for people living in poverty

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QUEEN’S PARK — What have the Liberals done for the hundreds of thousands of Ontarians living below the poverty line? This is the question people should really be asking while the government already celebrates a win at the end of the first year of its Basic Income pilot.

“Kathleen Wynne is hiding behind the Basic Income pilot because she doesn’t want to talk about her inaction on poverty. Social assistance rates have not recovered since the Mike Harris cuts, and the Liberals continue to delay action,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner.

People are barely scraping by in Ontario and recent reports show that things are getting worse. While the rich get richer, poor Ontario families are getting poorer. Toronto remains the child poverty capital of Canada.

“This government is notorious for taking small steps while the big picture gets worse. They prefer pilots over real solutions that will help people get ahead,” said Schreiner.

“The Liberals could have meaningfully raised social assistance levels in their budget to help people now. They opted for a drop-in-the-bucket increase. They could have introduced game-changing housing rules to ensure affordable units are set aside. Instead they sided with developers. They could have started a plan to roll out a Basic Income Guarantee for all Ontarians. They have not,” added Schreiner

The Green Party’s vision for economic fairness includes a Basic Income Guarantee for all. This would transform how poverty is tackled in the province, cutting red tape for the poor and helping people during the transitions in their lives. To address immediate needs in the meantime, we would immediately increase Ontario Disability Support Payment and Ontario Works payments toward rates that match the low income measure.

This is what doing politics differently looks like.