Canada can afford to eliminate poverty, support the middle class and dramatically shrink the gap between the rich and poor by introducing an annual basic income of $22,000, according to a new report.
The unconditional stipend for adults over 18 would come with an annual price tag of between $134 billion and $637 billion, depending on three options explored by the Basic Income Canada Network in a report being released Thursday.
Everyone would be impacted because it would change the tax system, according to the non-profit advocacy organization. And although some would take a hit, it would result in a tax system that is fairer, more transparent and easier to understand, the report argues.
“Basic income in Canada is not a question of possibilities, but of priorities,” said the report’s co-author Sheila Regehr, chair of the network.
“It is clear from child and seniors’ benefits that basic income works for many Canadians already. The federal government’s priority now must be to take leadership to make it work for everybody,” she said.
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