Raise the Rates Campaign
Raise the Rates is a campaign to fight poverty by raising social assistance rates in Ontario. Jointly organized by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), Put Food in the Budget, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Poverty Makes Us Sick Waterloo Region, Poverty Makes Us Sick Ottawa, and other grassroots anti-poverty organizers and trade union allies from across Ontario. We are a growing movement united in fighting for:
• Raising social assistance rates
• Stopping the erosion of social assistance benefits
• Demanding a living wage for all
Reverse the Cuts, Raise the Rates!
In 1995 the Tory government cut welfare rates by 21.6 % and froze disability. Since the Liberals came to power in 2003, they have spent over a decade talking about poverty reduction, all the while cutting real incomes of people on social assistance vis-a-vis inflation. As a result, welfare rates today are over 60% below where they were in the early 90s. In the same period the number of Ontarians working minimum wage jobs has increased five times, and one in three of us today are stuck working low-wage jobs.
Endless cycles of consultations, studies, Commissions to Review Social Assistance have instead been organized, along with the recent proposal to pilot a Basic Income Project to defer the most logical action – raising social assistance rates. While poor people are told to keep consulting, successive budgets have provided billions of dollars worth of tax breaks to corporations and the rich.
We demand an immediate increase in OW and ODSP rates and stand-by demands made by the $15andfairness campaign.
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