A Basic Income Guarantee ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status.
We invite you to join and support the movement for a Basic Income Guarantee for all.
This article was first featured in the UM Today e-newsletter at the University of Manitoba
The basic income idea is to ensure everyone sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. In reality, in pilots and in current programs, it can take different forms. Whether in Canada, India, Finland or the United States, basic income possibilities and options are going to reflect their political and policy context.
The political landscape now in Canada is fascinating. In recent months, political parties have adopted resolutions supporting basic income, prominent mayors have declared leadership on the issue, municipal governments have endorsed it, the government of Quebec declared it’s intent to move in the direction of a basic income and the Ontario government announced it is planning a pilot. The federal government appointed a minister who has written on the subject and is now charged with developing a poverty reduction strategy. The federal government is also promising evidence-based policy and greater cooperation with other orders of government, a big change from the politics of the last decade.
The following is a statement from the Board of Directors of Basic Income Canada Network.
Basic income, guaranteed annual income, demogrant, negative income tax and similar terms are capturing headlines. There is little inherent in these names, however. Many variations are possible, with different costs and benefits: having a constructive conversation about them depends on understanding design issues and the principles that guide them.
Design issues include (among many others) the benefit level, how payment is made, how frequently it’s paid and how other income is treated. Design also addresses critical issues such as what programs the basic income is intended to replace, on what grounds, and what other programs are important to keep, strengthen or build.
For BICN, a basic income guarantee is one that ensures everyone sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. We believe principles including universality, non-conditionality, security, autonomy, dignity, and economic and gender equality should guide basic income dialogue and design.
A good basic income design for Canada is one that: