On June 17th, we will rally in Hamilton against the Liberal Government’s decision as part of their 2010 budget to CUT the Special Diet Allowance. The Special Diet Allowance is money that people on Welfare (OW) and Disability (ODSP) rely on in order to access healthy food and pay the rent. For hundreds of thousands in Ontario, the Special Diet is the only means left to try to survive on shamefully inadequate OW and ODSP rates.
In March, the Ontario Liberal Government, including local Hamilton-Mountain Liberal MPP Sophia Aggelonitis, put forth the most anti-poor budget since Harris in 1995. In cutting the Special Diet Allowance, the Liberals are only the third Government in Ontario’s history to cut Social Assistance. It is a 200 million dollar cut to Social Assistance! This is a brutal move that will make hundreds of thousands of people hungry, sick, at risk of being evicted, or homeless.
In Hamilton this cut to Social Assistance will be devastating. Hamilton is a community that has faced huge job losses in this economic crisis and attacks on the Public Sector. Statistics estimate that 22% of Hamilton residents live below the Poverty Line, with official unemployment being well over 8%.
We are demanding that the Ontario Government reinstate the Special Diet immediately, and that they finally reverse the 1995 Harris cut by raising OW and ODSP rates at which people can live with health and dignity.