Think tank floats 'basic income' idea for all citizens

A think tank is calling for fundamental change to the system of tax and benefits in the UK.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is recommending a basic universal income.

In a new report, the author calls the approach the best alternative "to help people improve their own lives."

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Kingston becomes first Canadian municipality to call for basic income guarantee

By Roderick Benns 

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site

The City of Kingston has become the first municipality in Canada to call for the development of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians. 

Council recently and unanimously passed a motion calling for a national discussion on the issue, hoping this will lead the provinces and federal government to work together to “consider, investigate, and develop a Basic Income Guarantee for all Canadians.”

A basic income guarantee is known by many names, including a guaranteed annual income, a minimum income and a negative income tax, among others. But the essence is that it ensures everyone an income that is sufficient to meet their basic needs, regardless of work status. It provides a direct cash transfer to the people who most need economic security.

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Saskatchewan New Democrats call for a guaranteed basic income pilot project

Saskatchewan's New Democrats want the government to pilot and evaluate a guaranteed basic income program and, if the results prove successful, they want the program introduced province-wide, as a key measure to tackle poverty and improve health, social and economic outcomes.

A basic income program, which can be delivered through a cash transfer model or a negative income tax, is a much simpler and more streamlined approach than current income security programs, and many experts argue it is also a much more effective approach at reducing poverty.

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Food banks help the donor, but don't fix the problem: professor

From CBC News

A university professor in Nova Scotia says while turkey drives and food banks make the donors feel good — they don't fix a much larger problem of helping the poor.

Judy Haiven, who teaches in the Management Department at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University, is also the chair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in Nova Scotia.

Haiven took exception earlier this year when she heard CBC Radio's Sunday Edition rebroadcast remarks on giving socks for the homeless, with host Michael Enright.

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A basic income guarantee should be a human right, advocates say

By Roderick Benns

On International Human Rights Day, a Perth, Ontario man says he believes a basic income guarantee for all should be one of those human rights.  

Rob Rainer, a well-known basic income advocate, says he believes that basic income is a means “to help ensure that such internationally recognized social and economic rights as the right to food, housing and a standard of living adequate for the health of oneself and one’s family, are honoured and protected.”

A basic income guarantee is known by many names, including a guaranteed annual income, a minimum income and a negative income tax, among others. 

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Minimum wages do not offer security in a post-industrial age: Standing

Could a state-funded universal basic income eliminate poverty? One of its most outspoken proponents, Professor Guy Standing, certainly thinks so. As well as teaching economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Standing is the co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. His 2011 book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class blames globalization for an emerging social class without job security. He speaks to Equal Times about why a basic income makes sense to him.

Why is there a need for a basic income in developed regions like Europe?

Basic income is essential in Europe because of the growth of the precariat. And the fact is our existing social protection system doesn’t reach the precariat. The system puts people in horrendous poverty traps. A poverty trap means that if you go from receiving a state benefit to a low-wage job available to the precariat, in many European countries and elsewhere, you face in effect a high marginal tax rate, if you factor in the loss of state benefits for taking a paid job. 

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Finland to pay every citizen $1,100 per month

Finland’s government is drawing up plans to pay every citizen a basic income of euros 800 ($1,165) each month, scrapping benefits altogether.

Under proposals drafted by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela), the tax-free payments would replace all other benefit payments, and would be paid to all adults regardless of whether or not they receive any other income.

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