Basic income would require 'transformation' of social supports, committee hears

CBC News

Members of the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income laid out a blueprint for a basic income guarantee in the province, speaking Thursday in front of a new legislative committee tasked with exploring the issue of poverty.

"Basic income requires a transformation of the system we have now," Ann Wheatley told members of the committee.

Wheatley is with the Cooper Institute, a social advocacy group and part of the larger Working Group for a Livable Income, which for the past 15 years has been delving into the issue of how to assure Islanders' basic needs are met.

"One of the most important principles is that basic income guarantee be grounded in human rights as opposed to charity," Wheatley said, asserting that "the right to an income that supports people to live in good health and with dignity is a human right."

The province's special committee on poverty was struck during the recent sitting of the legislature with unanimous support from all parties. The committee is collecting public input after being given 12 months to develop a fully-costed plan to implement a basic income pilot on P.E.I.

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