Tag Archive

Out of the business after 125 years: Ontario municipalities no longer sharing costs of public assistance to the poor

Published on December 17, 2017 By johnastapleton

  In 1793, no poor law was introduced into Upper Canada with the settlement of Muddy York. After all, it was supposed to be a Utopia. Forty Four years later in 1836, two years after the reform of the British Poor Law, the first declaration of public responsibility for poverty was made, 2 years after […]

Ontario Roadmap for Income Security Reform proposes redress in first 3 years

Published on November 8, 2017 By johnastapleton

Just 29 years ago, the Social Assistance Review Committee delivered its 674 page report called Transitions on September 6, 1988. It was groundbreaking as it devised other programs that would replace the role of welfare. That only partially came to pass with child benefits and the small Working Income Tax Benefit. In the years from […]

New social assistance asset test welcome news

Published on June 16, 2017 By johnastapleton

The 50 year experiment forcing welfare recipients and low income persons with disabilities into financial destitution finally appears to be over. In Charles Sousa’s Budget 2017, asset limits for single welfare recipients will be raised from $2,500 to $10,000 for a single person and to $11,000 for a lone parent with two children. Persons with […]

A better way to save 2.6%

Published on February 15, 2017 By johnastapleton

Late last year, some colleagues and I released a report on called ‘The Cost of Poverty in Toronto’. We found that poverty costs the Toronto economy between $4.4 and $5.5 billion per year. For this discussion, I will use a figure of $5 billion. Since Toronto has never been poverty-free and there is no comparable […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income: part 7

Published on April 3, 2016 By johnastapleton

Keeping what’s good from the past “There is a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination, an oral and written language composed of the memories of countless elders and healers, warriors, […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income – Part 5

Published on February 27, 2016 By johnastapleton

The problem of work for a guaranteed or basic income “Although the practical implementation challenges make a GAI reform implausible in Canada, evidence from five North American experiments with a negative income tax style GAI provides some valuable insights. A negative income tax discourages recipients from working because it subsidizes leisure and reduces the marginal […]

A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario

Published on February 26, 2016 By johnastapleton

“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men Feared by the bad, loved by the good Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.” In the Budget lockup yesterday, I started to silently sing the Robin Hood song that I learned back in the 1950’s as a kid. […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income –Part 4

Published on February 21, 2016 By johnastapleton

Differences in contributions, services and need Now it’s time to talk about rights and human dignity – but I want to set the table first. I’m also not going to repeat too much from the first three entries. I am going to assume you have read them if you are now reading entry #4. In […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income – Part 3

Published on February 15, 2016 By johnastapleton

What to do with our emotionally charged income security system To many, a GAI or basic income looks like a bauble or a confection. It’s up there with solving gridlock,  reducing global warming and curing cancer. Easy to want and easy to say – wicked hard to do! The problem with a GAI is not […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income –part 2

Published on February 14, 2016 By johnastapleton

A Valentine’s Day gift for benefit designers – a tale of two GAI’s Last week, I self-published: A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income[1]. In the Toronto Star on Saturday February 12, there was a lead editorial[2] on Guaranteed and basic incomes that set out the usual cautions about beautiful unicorns […]

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