Schreiner calls perceived cuts to social assistance rates 'cruel'

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The Ontario PC government actually announced it is raising social assistance rates by 1.5 per cent, but that is half of the three per cent increase the previous Liberal government announced in its pre-election budget.

Doug Ford's government is cancelling the basic income pilot program and slowing down increases to income assistance.

The new Progressive Conservative government announced Tuesday the increase would be reduced to 1.5 per cent.

The Ontario government chose to ditch its universal income project this week, with Ministers saying the expensive pilot program was "clearly not the answer" for the nation's working families and those below the poverty line. A couple could receive up to $24,000 a year, while someone with a disability could have received an additional $600 per month.

"What I'm announcing today is about restoring dignity to Ontarians", she said.

The Ontario government said it's reducing the cost of living with its plans to lower gas prices and hydro rates.

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This type of social assistance welfare program serves nearly 1 million people in Ontario.

There are approximately 4,000 people enrolled in the program.

She says the governing Tories will set a 100-day deadline to come up with a new social assistance program that will help people break the cycle of poverty and get back in the workforce.

"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.

Ries is also watching to see how the government decides to change the system for people with disabilities. "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.

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