House of Commons submission on poverty by Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto

Submission to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities

On the Poverty Reduction Strategy

Submitted by: Barbara Boraks on behalf of the Basic Income Initiative, a subcommittee of the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto.

The Basic Income Initiative, based in Toronto, Canada, is a multi-faith, multi sector consortia which utilizes faith-based and Indigenous insights and values, strengthened by contributions from a wide range of additional fields and disciplines, to support the adoption of a guaranteed annual income. By meeting basic material needs, it is our belief that a basic income will further promote human dignity and facilitate individual fulfillment within the broader context of the common good. Participants include senior and established representatives from the following institutions: Roman Catholic, United Church, Anglican, Muslim, Jewish, Indigenous, health care, labour, business, social justice advocates, and academics (economics, food insecurity, social work).

Introduction We would like to congratulate the Standing Committee for paying close attention and focus(es) on innovation in poverty reduction. We would also like to commend the many submissions which recognize the need for a holistic approach to poverty reduction and the cost of poverty. This cost is not only a financial one, but one which leads to marginalization, insecurity, and fear. This submission recommends that a basic income system (negative income tax), if implemented responsibly, can address many of the issues related to poverty. Equally important is that a basic income model responds to many of the changes in socio-economic realities with which we are now faced.

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