News & Events
Budget 'austerity' is hungry children in Hamilton
Hamilton's Poverty Roundtable responds to the provincial budget measures that freeze welfare rates, delay Ontario Child Benefits.
How can we win the war on poverty by punishing the very people who suffer from it? If Tuesday's provincial budget is any indication, the Ontario government is abandoning -- even betraying -- its commitment to an Ontario Poverty Strategy and its promise to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent by 2013.
On Sunday, Premier McGuinty artfully chose a media event at a youth centre in Toronto to announce he would freeze social assistance rates and delay extending the Ontario Child Benefit for kids living in poverty. As one observer noted, even worse was that the government tried to spin it as good news because "at least the rates weren't being cut."
Welfare rates are of course a political hot potato. No government -- or opposition party for that matter -- believes they'll ever get elected by increasing social assistance rates. That's because there remain many people, in our community and outside of it, who deem that individuals in receipt of social assistance somehow have it easy, that they choose not to work.