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What low-income families can expect from the Ontario budget

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

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Ontario residents struggling to make ends meet will get some relief from the provincial government’s 2016 budget:

TUITION

The province is scrapping its current tuition grants and funnelling the money into a single program that will provide free post-secondary tuition to students from families with incomes up to $50,000. The new Ontario Student Grant, set to take effect in the 2017-18 school year, will also award grants exceeding the average tuition to more than half of students with families with incomes of $83,000 or less.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

An additional $178 million will be injected into affordable housing over three years, which the province says will provide subsidies and benefits to more households, though the exact number has yet to be determined. More details are expected in the coming months on changes to affordable housing, including plans to build an additional 1,500 units over an unspecified number of years.

A new $2.4 million one-year pilot project will also allow those fleeing domestic violence to access affordable housing benefits without having to wait for a unit to become available.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Those receiving assistance through the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support programs will see their benefits increase by 1.5 per cent starting this fall.

The province is also planning to reduce clawbacks to social assistance for families also receiving child support, though it has not yet been determined how much more they will be able to keep.

DRUG BENEFITS

More seniors will be eligible for cheaper drugs starting in August. Single seniors earning up to $19,300 per year will now qualify, compared with the previous threshold of $16,018. Couples with an income of up to $32,300 will also become eligible, where before only those earning $24,175 qualified.

The costs will be offset by raising deductibles and co-payments for seniors above the new income thresholds. Annual deductibles will rise to $170 from $100 and co-payments will increase by a dollar to $7.11.

Comments

  • Loise says:

    Who exactly is this budget making life easier for?

    Seniors, definitely not!! Penalizing them for needing prescriptions drugs because as people get older, they need prescriptions for ailments that strike the Seniors.

    Hello!!!

    Taking away a credit for changes in their environment to enable them to stay in their own homes because it wasn’t being used enough.

    Who do “the powers that be” think they re helping.
    Not all seniors are rolling in dough.

    Hello!!

    However, you people will be rolling in dough when you retire from your fat cat government positions with no worries about having enough money to pay for prescriptions and let alone putting food on the table.

    Why penalize the seniors? Is it because there appears to be more seniors now than ever before and at $70 a pop you can beef up what exactly? Perhaps benefits for incoming refugees.

    Hello!!!

    How about taking care of seniors who have been the main stay in this country for the long run working hard all their lives and raising families.
    How about giving something BACK to the seniors and stop taking away.

    Perhaps the officials on on Parliament Hill should come down off their high horses and try to live on the pensions some Seniors have to live on with the expense that are the escalating, it seems daily.

    You people will never have to go to a food bank because you have run out money before the end of the month.

    How many businesses would entertain hiring a 70+ senior to earn some extra money.

    Stop pushing Senior Citizens into an early grave trying to figure out why their country is doing this to them!!!

    Speaking out for seniors, I am Eloise!

    2016,02.28 – 4:10 p.m.

  • Gloria Henderson says:

    As usual…nothing for seniors except medicare which can be assessed through Trillium. I guess the government took our money through CPP and taxes all those years ago while working and are now just waiting for us to drop dead…Shame on all of them.

  • Vinna Irvine says:

    If I understand this right I will be paying $ 170.00 from $100.00 per year for Drug Benefit ..I have a hard time paying the $100.00 ,so I’m thinking of going off my meds , Which I need but I can not pay .that much. The government cut us off Dental, eye glasses as soon as we hit 65 of age and yet they say that dental is needed for good health, well I don’t understand this …Hitting the seniors again …..

  • Melanie Ward Getchell says:

    So because I have a job, work long hours and support my family, my children have to pay for their own university. The grants they receive will no longer exist. I either work more hours (I am usually at the max allowed) or they take on student debt that they will then spend 25-30 YEARS repaying,. How does this teach the next generation the value of hard work and supporting yourself and your family?

  • JulDal says:

    I work just as hard as you for less money…I am also a single mom, survivor of domestic violence and haven’t seen a penny from my child’s “Sperm Donor” in 9.5 years…as many years as he has been alive. I have saved what I could but this news is very relieving for me as someone who has known the struggles of not having an adequate post secondary education. It is relieving for me to know that my son has a chance to attend school and not continue the cycle of poverty…because yes, even though I work hard and feed my family and house my family and clothe my family, we are still so close to the poverty line that it hurts….it is not a sense of entitlement…it is hope for a better generation after us…stop complaining…

  • dorisg697@hotmail.com says:

    IF I understand this correctly…I make $19,300. a year so I qualify for cheaper drugs starting this Aug. 2016. I now pay $100. deductible BUT with this new Drug Benefit you are raising this to $170. a year. I have trouble with the
    $100 so if I have to pay the $170 I won’t pay this as my drugs don’t come to
    this much a year..
    What a rip off this is…sounds great until you figure it out..Thanks but no
    thanks..

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