Determining Social Assistance Rates

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Pigs at the Trough

In a 1988 Transitions report, the Ontario government reviewed social assistance programs and found them to be inadequate. Almost 20 years later, some Hamilton poverty activists who are tired of waiting for elected officials to give a damn have decided to lend a hand.1

The Ontario Social Assistance Rate Determination Act, 2007 is draft legislation “to create and empower a civilian panel and charge them with researching, reviewing and revising the benefit rates for Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program” and “directs the panel to create regionally different rates based an actual costs.”

The draft law also directs the panel to include funding for fire insurance and to base food expenditures on the price of the “healthy food basket” data collected by each regional health department every year; it would also more closely track energy and utility costs for the recipients, all of which goes well beyond the current calculations used in arriving at a social assistance rate.2

The proposed law has the support of community legal clinics.

links:
Poverty activists push for civilian panel
Y-File
An Open Letter to MPPs

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