Text Size

Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

 

Registration is now live! Register today to receive early bird discount rates.

New brief looks at “Reforming Social Assistance Rules that Punish the Poor for Saving”

Summary: 
The C.D Howe Institute has released a policy brief by John Stapleton on the benefits of allowing Canadians who are receiving social assistance to accumulate savings.

http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/ebrief_93.pdf

March 23, 2010 - The C.D Howe Institute has released a policy brief by John Stapleton on the benefits of allowing Canadians who are receiving social assistance to accumulate savings. Existing rules for welfare and disability programs usually deny or cancel benefits if applicants have even a small amount of savings:

One of the goals of social assistance programs in Canada is to put in place measures to break the cycle of welfare dependency. Savings, however small, can provide a cushion against unforeseen circumstances or provide the foundation for later choices about education or work. When governments penalize welfare applicants or recipients for saving by denying program benefits - as happens in the case of savings in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) – social assistance programs may become traps.

On the other hand, by helping to meet contingencies and pay the additional costs associated with moving toward self-reliance, measures that promote asset-building can help people to save, invest in skills and education, and facilitate labour-force entry. Encouraging asset accumulation, even in small amounts, is crucial in helping to lift people out of poverty.