Break Down Bureaucracy To Build Up Opportunity
16 January 2013
TORONTO – Ontario can help people bridge from dependency to work while saving taxpayers money if we untangle the jumble of rules and regulations around social assistance, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments with Community and Social Services critic Toby Barrett in advance of Thursday’s release of Paths to Prosperity: Welfare to Work – the eighth in a series of PC papers on ideas to stop overspending, deliver more value to taxpayers and create jobs.
“All Ontarians should have a shot at the dignity of a job and to make a contribution,” Hudak said. “But the costly and wasteful bureaucracy surrounding social assistance is a barrier to more productive lives, especially for disabled Ontarians – almost half of whom are unemployed.”
Drawing on the advice of economist Don Drummond and Social Assistance Review Commissioners Francis Lankin and Munir Sheikh, Hudak said Welfare to Work will call for merging Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program into one streamlined, more cost-effective program focused on getting people into jobs.
Barrett said Welfare to Work will also call for dramatically reducing the 800 rules that have made the system hard to navigate: “Caseworkers say they spend up to 70 per cent of their time simply trying to understand the rules instead of helping their clients.”
Hudak said the goal is to ensure the system focuses on access to work opportunities to ensure everyone can achieve their true potential.
“Because,” he concluded, “the best social program is a job.”
View and share the Paths to Prosperity to date at www.ontariopc.com/paths