Liberals criticized for erroneous social assistance payments
Opposition 'making a mountain out of a very small molehill,' says minister
Both opposition parties zeroed in the Liberal government's new $240-million computer system that sent out millions worth of unauthorized welfare payments on Friday.
The Progressive Conservatives and NDP chose the topic of the Social Assistance Management System for their lead question to the government in Question Period on Monday.
CBC News revealed the computer sent welfare recipients unauthorized direct deposits and cheques worth some $7-million dollars.
- Social assistance computer error sees millions paid out by mistake
- New software should be dumped until fixed, says official
- Software causes havoc for clients, case workers
"Why are you going forward defending it? How much is this Liberal scandal going to cost us?" asked Interim PC leader Jim Wilson.
"The Liberals new program is causing chaos for clients and staff," said NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says 99 per cent of the incorrect payments have been reversed. Indeed, the Liberals say the amounts from Friday have been drastically reduced and the problem has been fixed.
The minister of community and social services responsible for the new automated system, Helena Jaczek, downplayed the problems.
"Clearly the opposition is trying to make a mountain out of a very small molehill," she said.
Government officials say they are still trying to collect some $123,000 in unauthorized payments.