Food Banks Canada calls on government to establish basic income

By Roderick Benns

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site

Food Banks Canada is the latest national organization to call for a basic income guarantee for Canadians.

Writing in their latest Hungercount 2015 report just released, the group says the time has come for the provinces and territories “to dismantle what has become an understaffed, stressed, and ineffective bureaucratic system that hurts more than it helps.”

Food Banks Canada notes there exist several workable models for a basic income that would be administered through the tax system. This would instantly “eliminate the bureaucracy, the intrusiveness, and the stigma associated with welfare.”

“Our recommendations include this significant, forward-thinking plan,” as well as several other common-sense actions.

Other recommendations include:

  • Dismantling existing social assistance bureaucracies and creating a basic income, administered through the tax system.
  • Ensuring that basic income has a logical relationship to the level of earnings offered through work.
  • Removing non-cash benefits from social assistance and make these benefits available to all low income households, regardless of their eligibility or participation in other government programs.

Food Banks Canada notes that “such benefits include but are not limited to child care subsidies, affordable housing supplements, and drug and dental insurance.”

The national group is one of many health-related organizations, such as the Ontario Public Health Association and the Canadian Medical Association, who have all endorsed basic income policy.