Canada's cancelled basic income trial produces positive results

New Atlas

A new report, from researchers at McMaster University and Ryerson University, has surveyed over 200 participants from a prematurely cancelled basic income experiment that took place in Southern Ontario between 2017 and 2019.

The report suggests participants saw improvements in mental health, housing stability and social relationships, along with less frequent visits to hospitals and doctors that lowered the impact on general health services.

Over the past few years the idea of universal basic income (UBI) has moved from the fringes of economic theory and philosophy into mainstream politics. With concerns over the impact of automation, popular support has grown for some kind of basic income as a social welfare safety net.

However, in practice, basic income experiments around the world over the past few years have taken on a huge variety of forms, from specifically targeting unemployed members of a community to more complicated means-tested systems (payments that vary depending on an individual’s employment income).

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