Alberta could reduce poverty and introduce a guaranteed basic income with virtually no new funding by simply tweaking how it issues tax credits, according to a new report.
"Converting just a few non-refundable tax credits into refundable ones can produce a guaranteed annual income of over $6,000 for a single-adult family and over $9,000 for a two-adult family, with no significant new funding required," the report from Wayne Simpson and Harvey Stevens at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy reads.
"This would improve supports for 37 per cent of Alberta families, with the largest gains properly concentrated among the poorest households, and would reduce the rate and depth of poverty by 25 per cent."
A basic income isn't a new idea — it's been tested in small pilot projects in Canada dating back to the 1970s, but critics have often worried costs to implement and run such a program would be prohibitive.
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