Stockton, California, recently started an experimental basic income program. The concept is simple: 130 residents will receive monthly payments, no strings attached, over the course of 18 months. The first payment was delivered in February.
When the experiment is complete, according to The Los Angeles Times, city authorities will pore over how people spent the money and how it changed their lives — resulting in a study that could provide crucial insight into the economics of basic income.Read more
Raise the Hammer
I was one of the 4500 citizens in Canada to be given a basic income (BI). I applied for BI while working at a bank in downtown Hamilton. Part-time employment is all that is available as a modern bank teller.
The top priority given to us by our managers was to teach customers how to use our online banking platform and cell-phone application. The better I did my job, the fewer faces I saw coming into the branch. I was in the midst of a job-performance paradox, witnessing and facilitating the replacement of my job by technology. And moving up the ladder didn't make much long-term sense either, seeing as financial planners are now being publicly shafted in Super Bowl advertisements by automated robo-banking platforms like Questrade.Read more
City councillors in Thunder Bay, Ont., heard how the cancellation of the province's basic income pilot project is having an impact on some of the poorest people in the city.
The Lakehead Social Planning Council (LSPC) gave council a basic profile of those who are most affected by poverty, which the report said tend to be Indigenous people, women and those between the ages of 30 and 49. While the report gave many facts and figures on how many people in the city are affected by poverty, it also offered some solutions.Read more
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says his party will launch a pilot project to study the implementation of basic income, provide funding to hire 2,000 new teachers, change the province's voting system and largely eliminate income taxes in favour of a sales tax.
"Alberta Liberals believe that better is possible," Khan said as he announced the full Liberal platform at the party's campaign headquarters Monday afternoon in Calgary. "I encourage all Albertans to read our policies because we have the best pro-growth fiscal strategies of any party in this election."Read more
P.E.I.'s Green Party released its full platform for the coming provincial election Monday afternoon. The platform includes about $30 million in new spending, with the biggest chunk — $10 million — going toward increasing social assistance rates.
"We acknowledge poverty is a complex issue, but envision fewer people living in poverty by immediately increasing access to existing programs and services," the platform said. "I believe that Islanders want a government that presents a pathway toward a practical, harmonious, and affordable future," said Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.Read more
Former premier Kathleen Wynne said she regrets that her government did not bring in the now-scrapped basic income pilot project earlier during their time in power. "I wish that we had done it sooner," the Don Valley West MPP said in response to a question from a basic income pilot participant at the Hamilton Public Library Monday.
The previous leader of Ontario's Liberal party said she was "fighting back tears" as she delivered the keynote address at an appreciation day for basic income participants.Read more
Not only can basic income make people feel better about their finances, but it can also make them feel better about society, according to a new report from Kela, the government agency behind Finland’s recently wrapped two-year-long basic income experiment. “Respondents who received a basic income had more trust in other people and in societal institutions” than people who didn’t receive payments, Kela wrote in the report — a finding that suggests basic income may lead to increased trust in police, politicians, and similar groups.Read more