Ontario Budget 2024 should advance the right to an adequate standard of living
Maytree’s submission to the Ontario Budget 2024 consultation calls on the government to advance the right to an adequate standard of living.
With the full consent of the provinces, Canada signed international declarations, covenants, and conventions to uphold human rights, which include economic and social rights. Many of the services necessary to fulfill these rights — such as certain income, employment, and housing supports — fall under provincial jurisdiction. It is in this spirit that Maytree makes its pre-budget submission to the Ontario government.
An adequate standard of living is out of reach for many people in Ontario. Our analysis shows that for all of the social assistance-receiving households we examined, they have to survive on an income level below the deep poverty line. When it comes to housing, in 2021, 12 per cent of people in Ontario were living in core housing need. Recent increases in living costs have only exacerbated existing challenges.
This situation is the culmination of previous policy decisions. That is why, to advance the right to an adequate standard of living for all people in Ontario, the government must address the systems acting counter to this goal — social assistance, employment-related supports, and housing services.
Maytree recommends that in Budget 2024 the Ontario government:
- Centres adequacy and dignity in the social assistance system.
- Helps workers keep more of what they earn.
- Makes rental housing more affordable to those who need it most.
- Works with other orders of government to achieve these goals.