Let’s get the basic income pilots right

By Laura Anderson and Danielle Martin

The so-called basic income guarantee is having a moment.

Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plan to explore the policy, it was announced that Ontario’s provincial budget included funds for a basic income pilot project. And on that very day, Senator Art Eggleton tabled a motion calling on the Senate of Canada to encourage the federal government to do the same.

The basic income guarantee (BIG) is a strategy for poverty reduction that is simpler and more effective than our existing social assistance systems. Quite simply, individuals whose incomes fall below a certain threshold get topped up to a level that would meet basic needs. This streamlined approach would replace existing social assistance programs, and would provide much-needed income security for the increasing numbers of Canadians in precarious and part-time work. If designed correctly, it should also eliminate some of the perverse incentives of the “welfare wall” that institutionalize poverty in Canada.

To read more, visit the Toronto Star here.