Basic income pilot end date coming soon, minister says

People participating in a basic income pilot project in Ontario will find out in two weeks when the program will end.

The Progressive Conservative government announced last week that it was ``winding down'' the project brought in by the Liberals, as well as cutting a planned three per cent increase in social assistance to 1.5 per cent - the first steps in its plan to revamp the social assistance system.

Community agencies said participants in the basic income project received notice last week that their payments would continue through August, with no further details on how the project would be phased out.

Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod says participants will get their cheques past August, and said the program's end date would be announced later this month.

The basic income pilot project launched last year and was set to run for three years, providing payments to 4,000 low-income people in communities including Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.

Single participants receive up to $16,989 a year while couples receive up to $24,027, less 50 per cent of any earned income.