Local 79 responds to the Province’s pilot project on Basic Income

In March 2016, the Provincial government announced its intention to run a pilot project on Basic Income. There are many models of basic income, but the idea is to replace programs such as Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) with a fixed benefit. Local 79 has serious concerns about basic income programs. Non-financial supports (referrals, counselling, life skills training and so on) are often essential for people struggling with low-income and poverty. Basic income programs could threaten these supports. What’s more, basic incomes don’t address the fundamental causes of poverty. If the Province wants to reduce poverty, it should increase the minimum wage, increase OW and ODSP rates, and increase access to affordable housing and child care. Read our submission to the Provincial Basic Income Pilot consultation here.