During question period today, NDP Poverty Reduction critic and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller declared that the Wynne government’s Basic Income Pilot Project may leave families struggling in poverty.

Ontario families were shocked to discover that anyone signing up for basic income may be subject to liens and debt collections on that income—current Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) recipients are exempt from these conditions. As a result, ODSP and OW recipients in Hamilton, Brantford Thunder Bay may actually receive less income if they opt into the Basic Income Pilot Project. Some poverty advocates are even encouraging families to reconsider participating in the pilot because of these conditions.

“This is unacceptable,” said Miller. “Many Ontarians struggle under household debt, but, for people in poverty-debt, it can be a crushing endless loop.”