A new pilot project from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne could guarantee working-age Ontario adults annual incomes of $22,000 by April 2017. The program, known as basic income, could come without work, education or health eligibility requirements.
Some experts say basic income can fix existing holes in the system and will most benefit women in their late 40s and early 50s without dependent children, as well as adults with disabilities. Others say it will have the most impact on youth, allowing them to stay in school longer and become social entrepreneurs.
Details are expected as early as next week, when former senator Hugh Segal, whom Wynne appointed to study the proposal, releases his recommendations. His discussion paper, which he agreed to produce for free, will outline his thoughts on who should be invited to participate, and how the pilot should be administered and evaluated.
Governments around the world from Brazil, to India, to Finland are testing similar programs. Some are going with a universal amount given to everyone; others are tailoring handouts dependent on income.
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