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 Submission On Basic Income - January 31 2017
- 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