It is the season for budgets and taxes!
- Ontario budget consultations 2022: the Poverty Task Force participated in a virtual consultation hosted by our respective MPPs Lisa Thompson and Bill Walker with the Ministry of Finance. We were able to advocate for a living wage, sick days, basic income, a full range of housing including transition and supportive housing. Read our submission here.
- Organizations/individuals have until Feb 11th, 2022 to take a survey here or submit written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal pre-budget consultations 2022: the federal government is asking for individuals to complete a survey to highlight their priorities and ideas; and organizations to complete a formal submission online or by uploading a submission here by Feb 25th, 2022.
- GIS Claw back for Seniors: seniors on low income who receive the Guaranteed Income Support (GIS) and collected CERB are now at risk of losing their housing due to GIS claw backs. The Federal government has announced it will provide a lump sum payment in May 2022. But for many seniors, May will be too late and they may be evicted due to inability to pay rent.
- We are asking you to write to the federal government to consider an earlier payment to assist seniors in Grey County and Bruce County. Read our submission here.
- National Advisory Council on Poverty: In April 2021, the Poverty Task Force joined a Tamarack Institute engagement with the National Advisory Council to provide feedback on its first report Building Understanding.
- Tamarack Institute is hosting a virtual event with the Council on Feb 16th, 12 noon–1pm to explore the rising cost of living; the widening inequality gap; and recommendations from their latest report, Understanding Systems: The 2021 report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty.
FREE INCOME TAX CLINICS
- Community Volunteer Income Tax Programs in Grey Bruce: Our Income & Employment Security Action Group is working with 211 to update the list of free income tax programs across Grey and Bruce County. You can call 211 or go to: freetaxclinics.ca to find the most up-to-date listing on 211.
- We have developed a Free Income Tax Poster for you to share, print out and post. You can also use our Income Tax Infographic on the Community Volunteer Income Program.
- ID Clinics: a critical component of filing your taxes has been having proof of address and proof of identity.
- In addition, libraries require both for library card applications and they require OHIP cards & ID to print out a vaccine passport.
- Creative solutions are being found amongst various social service partners to find ways to provide addresses, store ID and support applications for IDs..
- Challenges exist with the lack of knowledgeable staff being available to support people to apply for documents.
- Challenges exist with lack of funding to pay for applications, even when human resources are available to navigate the paperwork. Online payments must be paid using credit cards.
- The United Way and the Income & Employment Security Group are reaching out for ideas around ID clinics and application funding. Let us know what your organization is doing!
Stay well, Jill