Basic Income Guarantee: Let’s just do it

Marie Burge - The Guardian

Opinion

The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income welcomes the recent motion No. 36 passed in the P.E.I. legislature, putting Basic Income Guarantee back on the government’s agenda.

This effort should produce more than just another report collecting dust. For this to be progress, the proposed Special Committee of the Legislature must see their mandate as the creation of a Basic Income Guarantee program for Prince Edward Island. Otherwise, their December 2019 report could be a rehashing of recommendations, which the working group has presented many times to former governments. At the passing of motion No. 36, Social Housing and Development Minister Ernie Hudson emphasized that a lot of work has already been done on poverty in P.E.I. He seemed to refer only to work for the 2018 Poverty Reduction Strategy rather than that already done on Basic Income Guarantee.

We believe that the work on Basic Income Guarantee must include a statement of principles, such as that developed for P.E.I. by our working group in consultation with the community.

At this stage, we expect a viable design for Basic Income Guarantee in P.E.I. as a federal-provincial policy and program.

P.E.I. is ready to identify preliminary goals, objectives, proposed success indicators and costs.

To clarify, The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income no longer uses the term “pilot,” but rather “policies and programs.” This corresponds to a consensus growing across the country among Basic Income Guarantee researchers that the time for experiments is over.

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