Man gets $1,100 per month in basic income to draw attention to policy

By Chris Weller for Tech Insider

Frans Kerver was working 12-hour days before the money started coming in.

For nine years, the 53-year-old freelance copywriter living in Groningen, the Netherlands, would rise at 7 a.m. and fall asleep at 1 a.m. His wife and three kids rarely saw him.

When Kerver began receiving a basic income last July, everything changed.

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North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress coming soon

The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress 2016 is rapidly approaching. It will take place in Winnipeg, Canada at the University of Manitoba on May 12 – 15.  

The detailed program is now available here.

REMINDER:  early bird registration rates are available only until April 20.

‘Time to take a serious look at basic annual guaranteed income’: Halifax mayor

By Steve Silva -- Global News

The adoption of a guaranteed basic income continues to grow support and get calls for consideration in Halifax, among other communities in Canada.

“Now is the time to take a serious look at basic annual guaranteed income. Today’s talks are needed to end poverty,” tweeted Halifax Mayor Mike Savage Saturday morning.

He spoke at a conference, titled “Basic Income Guarantee: The Time is Right”, at Halifax Central Library.

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The Basic Income We Want

The following is a statement from the Board of Directors of Basic Income Canada Network. ( Version Française )

Basic income, guaranteed annual income, demogrant, negative income tax and similar terms are capturing headlines. There is little inherent in these names, however. Many variations are possible, with different costs and benefits: having a constructive conversation about them depends on understanding design issues and the principles that guide them.  

Design issues include (among many others) the benefit level, how payment is made, how frequently it’s paid and how other income is treated. Design also addresses critical issues such as what programs the basic income is intended to replace, on what grounds, and what other programs are important to keep, strengthen or build.

For BICN, a basic income guarantee is one that ensures everyone sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. We believe principles including universality, non-conditionality, security, autonomy, dignity, and economic and gender equality should guide basic income dialogue and design.

A good basic income design for Canada is one that:

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Robots and penniless humans: Basic Income has become an imperative

By Rob Rainer

We are at the dawn of a new era of technology without parallel in history. Along with it, concern is rising that automation of all kinds, being developed at exponential rates, will displace labour on an unprecedented scale.

For example, a 2013 study out of Oxford University predicted that automation will cause 47 percent of the jobs in the U.S. to disappear within 20 years. We are talking about not only the work that’s been called “the dull, dirty, and dangerous,” which some believe should be handled by robots. Rather, we are talking about work of creative skill too, or requiring significant analytical power.

Our machines can now write prose, with a prediction that by 2030, 90 percent of journalistic writing will be done by computers. Our machines can compose music. They can even do things as delicate as administering anaesthesia or performing unassisted surgery. 

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Refundable tax credits and the path to a basic income guarantee

By Robin Boadway

The pursuit of a basic income guarantee (BIG) is gathering momentum, but much of the emphasis has been on setting up pilot projects.

This is fair enough given that implementation of a full-fledged BIG is a major undertaking. But, approaching BIG using pilot projects alone would be unfortunate. Pilots take time, and by focusing on the response of project participants they are unlikely to give a comprehensive account of BIG, which of necessity would involve significant reform of existing tax-transfer systems. A two-track approach could move incrementally in the direction of BIG. It would involve exploiting refundable tax credits in new and innovative directions.

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Don’t let Ontario basic income pilot gather dust

By Carter Vance

The problem of poverty – a deprivation among plenty — has blighted Ontario since our province’s beginnings, and has remained one of the more intractable problems of public policy.

Poverty’s reach continues to impair hundreds of thousands of individuals, families and children. Recent evidence has suggested that, despite government spending commitments and some improvements in certain indicators, poverty is becoming increasingly concentrated by neighbourhood and increasingly intergenerational, with fewer “ladders of opportunity” for poverty’s exit.

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