ISAC has made a submission to the provincial government’s consultations on its Basic Income pilot project. The consultations ended on January 31.
Our submission makes a number of recommendations, including:
- The goal of the pilot project, and any basic income program that comes out of it, should be to reduce and eliminate poverty
- The provincial government should make urgently-needed investments in incomes for people on social assistance immediately, through increases to rates or tax-delivered benefits
- Investments in the pilot should not compete with investments in improvements to OW and ODSP
- No one should be made worse off as a result of participation in the pilot
- All special benefits, such as drug, dental and vision benefits provided through social assistance, should be retained by people in the pilot
- The amount of money that people get should be equal to at least 75% of the Low-Income Measure, if not 100%, and evaluation should be done to determine whether the amount provides enough money to cover the regular costs of living
- Privacy and ethical concerns for people who participate in the pilot must be addressed, as should concerns about the burden placed on those acting as a “control group”
- Eligibility should be determined using an individual’s income rather than their family’s income
- People who are currently able to access social assistance should not be excluded due to their immigration status or whether or not they filed their tax returns
- People with disabilities should receive a supplementary payment, which should be evaluated for adequacy, and the current ODSP definition of disability should be used to determine eligibility for the supplement
- People who are at heightened risk of poverty should be disproportionately represented, and measurement of outcomes should be disaggregated accordingly
- A process for resolving disputes that arise during the pilot project must be put in place.
You can read our submission here: ISAC 2023 Federal Pre-Budget Submission – February 2023 (PDF) ISAC Analysis: Auditor General Report 10 – Specific COVID-19 Benefits – December 2022 Submission to the SST re: Reimbursement of Expenses and Payment of Allowances – June 2022 2022 Ontario Fiscal Economic Statement Analysis Earned income exemption changes to ODSP – November 2022 (PDF) ISAC Submission to HUMA Cttee on Bill C-22 (Canada Disability Benefit) ISAC 2023 Federal Budget Submission Submission to OHRC Consultation on Poverty and Systemic Discrimination in Housing and Mental Health and Addiction Disabilities OW and ODSP Rates and OCB as of September 2022 (PDF) ISAC Annual Report 2021-2022 ISAC Membership Policy – August 2022 Press Release: Over 230 Organizations from Across Ontario Call on Premier Ford to Double Social Assistance Rates (PDF)
- A PDF version of the submission is here: ISAC Submission On Basic Income - January 31 2017 - PDF
Additional resources, including a webinar and written material, are available at the links below:
- Basic Income: What is it and what could it mean for social assistance?
- Basic Income Pilot Consultations: Key issues for people on OW and ODSP
Find out more about the government’s basic income pilot here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/basic-income-pilot-consultation