Social supports must be improved along with basic income

This ran as a letter to the editor in the Waterloo Record, in response to an op-ed piece expressing concern about Ontario's basic income pilot.

In their recent op-ed, Joey Edwardh and Peter Clutterbuck expressed their concern about the upcoming Ontario basic income guarantee pilot and argued for more emphasis on other social services, particularly job creation aimed at full employment.

I agree that the desired outcomes of our social and economic security system should be security, stability and dignity — in other words, good quality of life and well-being.

I also agree with the authors' concern that the government might implement a basic income guarantee and cut too many other supports. No one should expect any one social program to satisfy every need of every person. No basic income advocate that I know of thinks basic income alone can do that. 

While Mr. Edwardh and Mr. Clutterbuck take issue with an overemphasis on basic income, I take issue with their emphasis on the labour market as a means to the end of security, stability and dignity (again, quality of life). Too many paid jobs do not provide security, stability or dignity, and the trend in this area is downward.

To read the entire letter click here.