Ontario’s Liberals are promising to increase the amount that low-income seniors receive from the province as a top-up to federal Old Age Security payments if they form government this spring.
The party says that if elected June 2, it will also increase the number of seniors who qualify for Ontario’s Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) program.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says the change would help more seniors stay at home.
The GAINS program currently provides up to $83 per month, or $996 annually, to seniors with an annual income of up to $23,904 for single people and up to $47,808 for couples.
Del Duca says his party would lift the threshold to $25,000 for single seniors and $50,000 for couples, and add up to $1,000 to the annual total they receive through the program.
He says the change is expected to cost the province about $250,000 a year, with more details to come when the party releases its fully costed platform.
“I know, based on all of the conversations that I’ve been having with seniors across this province, that this is exactly the kind of help that will set them up to have real dignity, to be safe and healthy at home,” Del Duca said in a news conference in Markham, Ont.
The Ontario New Democrats’ election platform, released Monday, includes a pledge to freeze income taxes on low-income and middle-income households for four years, though the party’s platform provided few details.