Schreiner calls perceived cuts to social assistance rates 'cruel'

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People on social assistance and the people who work with them say they're disappointed the Ontario government is cutting a planned increase in half.

She said the review will be done within 100 days. She did not elaborate further.

The Ford government is working on a plan to reform Social Assistance so that it can help more people break the cycle of poverty, re-enter the workforce and get back on track.

In the March budget the Liberals announced they would raise income assistance rates by three per cent. MacLeod said that will be reduced to a 1.5 per cent increase. "When you're encouraging people to accept money without strings attached it really doesn't send a message that our ministry and our government wants to send", she said Wednesday.

"This decision is about fixing a broken system and making sure we have the capacity to build people up and get them back on their feet", MacLeod said.

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About 4,000 Canadians were enrolled in the program in selected regions: Thunder Bay, Lindsay, Hamilton, Brantford, and Brant County, the CBC reported.

They also announced they would cancel a basic income pilot project in three cities.

"We're going to hit the pause button on the previous government's patchwork system and replace it with a system that helps stabilize people in need and support them to succeed".

Each individual who took part in the pilot program received up to $17,000 a year while couples could have received up to $24,000 per year.

He said the basic income pilot had the potential to be a "small government, non-bureaucratic solution to eliminate poverty", providing eligible recipients with money while saving on costly staff time for welfare case workers - who MacLeod lamented spend the vast majority of their time on paperwork.