Did free cash drive people to quit work? Not according to a new basic income study

The Star

Three-quarters of people who were employed before joining Ontario’s ill-fated basic income pilot project continued to work while receiving the no-strings-attached monthly stipend, according to a new study.

And more than one-third of those low-wage workers were able to move to higher paying and more secure jobs, according to the study by McMaster University researchers being released Wednesday.

The findings shatter the belief among skeptics that basic income discourages people from working. It also appears to contradict the Ford government’s charge that the experiment was “failing” before it was cancelled in July 2018, the report argues.

Based on a survey of 217 former participants in the Hamilton-Brantford area and 40 in-depth interviews, the report also found those receiving basic income had better mental and physical health, fewer hospital emergency visits, more stable housing and an improved sense of well-being.

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