N.L. takes first step toward basic income as NDP motion passes in legislature

CBC News

It sounds like fiction, at first blush: hundreds of dollars appearing in your bank account every month, for no reason other than being alive.

However, Newfoundland and Labrador is taking the first step toward making a guaranteed basic income a reality.

"A Tory senator wrote a book on why we should do this as a country," Labrador West MHA Jordan Brown said on the assembly floor last Wednesday, in reference to basic income advocate Hugh Segal.

"This crosses party lines, corporate lines … this is something that's been talked about since the Seventies."

Brown tabled the private member's motion calling for the province to examine what a basic income might look like here, including who would receive it and how much.

To his surprise, the motion was a resounding success, with all parties agreeing to weigh the costs and benefits of running a pilot program.

Liberal Gerry Byrne stepped in to point out the overwhelming nature of the NDP-led proposal.

"It's a complex issue," Bryne said in response to the motion.

"It's so complex that no known jurisdiction in the world has established a true universal guaranteed income benefit … it's important for us to break through that complication."

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