The Progressive Conservatives are following the Liberals, NDP and Greens with a new promise—which was not previously outlined in their budget—to increase financial supports for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) by five per cent if elected.
The announcement was made in a news release issued Monday, in which the party touted it as “the largest increase in more than a decade.”
The party also said they would introduce legislation to see ODSP rates increase annually along with inflation.
“With the cost of living going up, we want to give vulnerable people across Ontario more support so they can pay for life’s essentials,” PC Leader Doug Ford said in a statement. “While the Del Duca-Wynne Liberals froze ODSP rates, we’re going to increase them every year tied to inflation.”
The PCs did not include this promise in their 2022 budget, which is serving as their re-election platform.
All three other major party leaders, on the other hand, have already announced substantial ODSP rate increases as part of their campaigns.
In their newly-released costed platform, the Liberals said they would increase ODSP rates by 20 per cent—10 per cent this year and another 10 per cent in 2023. They will also increase the maximum amount a person with disabilities can earn before the benefits are reduced to $6,000 per year.
This plan will cost a little more than $1.2 billion in 2023 alone.
The NDP are also promising to increase ODSP rates by 20 per cent while the Green Party says they want to “double” the rates.
Both the NDP and Liberals have also promised to streamline the eligibility process to ensure the same standards are used regardless of where or how individuals live.
As it stands, individuals on disability are able to collect $1,169 a month from the government.
Ford had no scheduled campaign events on Monday.
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