Federal NDP leader supports P.E.I. basic income pilot

The Guardian

Federal New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh is the first federal party leader to support calls for implementing a basic income guarantee pilot program in P.E.I.

In an interview with The Guardian on Monday, Singh said his party campaigned on implementing a national basic income pilot project and said he would support such a pilot on P.E.I.

Singh’s statements on the subject followed a report by all-party special standing committee on poverty, which called for implementing a full basic income guarantee (BIG) on P.E.I.

"We campaigned on a pilot project, so we absolutely support a pilot project," Singh said. "P.E.I.'s legislature put forward that as an idea, and they asked for federal funding to support this. The federal government has been unresponsive."

The report from P.E.I.’s special committee on poverty recommended the provincial and federal governments partner to implement a full, Islandwide basic income guarantee program, which would offer a government income support cheque to as many as 50,238 Islanders at a yearly net cost of $260 million.

The committee also recommended that, if federal funding could not be secured, the provincial government could implement a three-year BIG pilot project on P.E.I., involving between 3,073 and 4,176 Islanders. This pilot project was estimated to have a yearly cost of between $19.5 million and $26.5 million per year.

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