BC Panel Rejects a Universal Basic Income

The Tyee

It appears to be the end of the road for a universal basic income in British Columbia.

A panel appointed by the provincial government in 2018 to examine the idea of a basic income reported today that it would not be the most effective way to improve people’s lives.

Instead, the spirit of basic income should underlie “co-ordinated and substantial” reform of the province’s existing social programs, according to the panel.

Targeted basic incomes should replace some social supports like disability and income assistance, as well as support youth leaving care and women fleeing violence, the report concluded.

The panel also called for universal extended health benefits for low-income people as part of a recommended overhaul of social services in B.C.

“We recommend a broad mixed system that includes some targeted basic income but also basic services,” said panel chair David Green of the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia.

The panel also included Jonathan Rhys Kesselman of Simon Fraser University and Lindsay Tedds of the University of Calgary, supported by consultant and co-author Daniel Perrin.

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