Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Ford government scrapping Ontario basic income pilot project

Ford government scrapping Ontario basic income pilot project

During the election the Progressive Conservatives told both CBC and the Toronto Star that if elected they would keep the pilot program launched by the Liberals.

The government announced Tuesday it was "winding down" the project and cutting a planned three per cent increase in social assistance to 1.5% - the first steps in its plan to revamp the social assistance system.

A Canadian province has made a decision to scrap its universal basic income pilot after lawmakers decided it was "quite expensive" and "not sustainable", The Guardian reported.

DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS/NewscomA Canadian province's planned three-year experiment with a universal basic income (UBI) is ending after just one year.

"When you're encouraging people to accept money without strings attached, it really doesn't send the message that I think our ministry and our government wants to send. Ironically, the original idea for a Basic Income Guarantee came from conservative economists", said Schreiner.

Basic income programmes are being tested out around the world. "Hell no", she said.

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Although some participants used the money to go back to college or university to boost their odds of rising out of poverty with good jobs, MacLeod branded the pilot program a "disincentive" to finding employment.

When pressed on why the program was being cancelled, MacLeod responded only that it was not going to be sustainable.

The New Democrats and the Liberals also suggested the governing Tories would erode supports for low-income residents. Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister in charge of social services, cited the high costs of the project ($150 million in Canadian dollars) as the reason for the cuts and said it was "clearly not the answer for Ontario families".

People in Hamilton who were part of the Basic Income Pilot Project say they're shocked and angry after the province cancelled the program yesterday.

Advocates for basic income initiatives said such programs are more effective in lifting people out of poverty than social assistance and require less bureaucracy to run.

Those who previously received Ontario Works social assistance program would likely rolled back into the program, she said. "This decision isn't about saving money, this decision is about fixing a broken system", she said.

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