The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force has seen an increase in families who survive on part-time, seasonal or casual employment. In a 2013 survey of community members who use the service of food banks, social assistance, housing and employment agencies; people spoke of the toll that precarious work is taking on individuals and their families. Under employment or no employment challenges the ability of people to provide the basic necessities for their families.

People simply do not have enough income to meet their basic needs in Grey Bruce. Therefore, we believe that the Ontario government needs to examine ways to reduce precarious work and to increase household income to a Living Wage.

We know that access to small loans is necessary for consumers on low income.  But the provision of payday loans is not a positive solution. There is a fundamental flaw in the existing banking system that does not respond to the needs of people on low income.

We believe the current provision of payday loans does not contribute to families’ financial security. These loans are targeted in their marketing and encourage consumers to take out second and third loans. These loans actively promote a perpetual cycle of loans, debt and losses.

We believe the Government of Ontario needs to engage with the banks/credit unions to create programs for small loans to be offered to consumers on low income.  We believe that consumers should not face undue financial hardship from the use of high-cost, short-term credit, such as payday loans.

For more details on our full response to the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services go to: PayDay Loan Cost of Borrowing Review_BG Poverty Task Force response_18 May 2016