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"Welfare Cuts May Lead to More Paid Work for Lone Mothers - But Not Necessarily to Higher Incomes"

This brief research report looks at the situation for single mothers following two key rate changes:

1994 -1996, real social assistance benefits for lone mothers in Ontario fell sharply;

1994 -1996 the percentage of lone mothers with paid work rose sharply.

Researcher Kapsalis looked at 4 provinces (ON, QE, AB, BC) and hypothesized that the employment rate of lone mothers might be influenced by: the social assistance benefit rate; the labour market

conditions for mother with children in 2 parent families; and pre-school age children. Her findings reinforced a conclusion that movements in Ontario's real social assistance benefits are closely linked with changes in employment rates of single mothers in Ontario. However only 3500 of the 8200 more single mother who were working in 1996 wer actually doing it full-time. As well, lone mothers on social

assistance who were not working were definitely worse off because their benefits had been cut.

Being the federal employment bureau bulletin - this article goes on to suggest "an alternative approach exists to make work more attractive than welfare - the positive incentive of supplementing the earnings

of lone mothers who obtain full-time paid jobs."