TORONTO – Ontario’s Government for the People announced today that the Basic Income research project will wind down at the end of the fiscal year.
“We have a broken social service system. A research project that helps less than four thousand people is not the answer and provides no hope to the nearly two million Ontarians who are trapped in the cycle of poverty,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are winding down the basic income research project in a compassionate way.”
The wind-down of the basic income research project was first announced in July and it is now confirmed that payments to eligible participants will continue until March 31, 2019. This will allow participants enough time to transition to more proven support programs without putting an undue burden on Ontario taxpayers.
“Ontario’s Government for the People is winding down this research with a compassionate and lengthy runway. Winding the research up at the end of the fiscal year is the best option for those in the research project,” said Minister MacLeod.
The research project had an extraordinary cost for Ontario taxpayers which, according to the Ministry of Finance, would require increasing the HST from 13 percent to 20 percent if implemented across the province.
The Government for the People has committed to a 100-day review of social assistance and poverty reduction strategies in Ontario to best assist the 1 in 7 people in the province who are living in poverty. The plan is expected on November 8, 2018.
During the election campaign, the Progressive Conservatives promised the project would be allowed to continue.
There is a class action lawsuit launched against the Fort Government seeking the courts to continue the program.