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28 2012

Ontario Budget

Syndicated from: Daily Bread Food Bank

We are pleased the McGuinty government continues to increase the Ontario Child Benefit rates, but are cautious since they have delayed on the original implementation time lines promised. We hope one year, that is now stretched to two, does not continue to stretch further into the future as Ontario families stretch deeper into poverty. We realize difficult decisions have to be made in order to create a balanced budget and create a base for a stable financial future. However, part of creating a stable financial future does not mean creating a deeper hole for those already struggling to make ends meet and provide food for their families. Investing in a poverty reduction strategy means investing in the future employment opportunities,  health, and financial stability of Ontarians. If hunger is a direct result of poverty, than so are the health care implications, and the increase in health care costs that come with it for the province. No action on the social assistance system will likely create more health care spending as food prices, cost-of-living inflation and rents continue to increase this year and beyond and people compromise their health while trying to maintain a roof over their heads. No action will also limit the ability of being able to transform to a system that will help more people into jobs and to become financially independent. What we are looking forward to seeing are the recommendations for improving the income security system from the Social Assistance Review. We expect the Ontario government to take those recommendations seriously and present short- and long-term plans and commitments to implementing those recommendations that will make a serious impact on eradicating poverty and helping those who are struggling in the system. A commitment to a vision for transformative change is more important now than ever. What we don’t want to see is yet another review wasted without positive action being taken. We want change, and we will fight for it.  

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