Nearly half of basic income recipients were food insecure: Survey

Roderick Benns

Nearly half of the thousands of Ontarians collecting basic income reported severe food insecurity.

In the baseline survey, 48.4 per cent reported experiencing severe food insecurity. Survey comments made to the Basic Income Canada Network indicated that the higher quality food recipients were able to purchase while on the pilot improved their lives — sometimes dramatically.

Read more

Court has ‘no authority’ to quash PC decision to cancel basic income; ruling has ‘no effect’ on possible class action lawsuit

Roderick Benns

It was not the kind of Valentine’s Day gift supporters of basic income were looking for.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court says the court has no authority to force the PC government to continue funding the Ontario Basic Income Pilot program.

Read more

Free money wouldn’t make people lazy – but it could revolutionise work

The Guardian

The danger of so-called “free money” not only underpins critiques of universal basic income (UBI), but also the incredibly strong narratives that underlie the attitudes to work in the UK (and elsewhere) – and our unemployment benefit system. Paid employment is held up as one of the ultimate markers of being a valuable member of society, with those not in paid work (always described in these narratives as a voluntary position, rather than as the result of issues outside their control) seen as a drain on society. Those out of work are positioned in direct contrast to those in paid employment: the shirkers versus the strivers, the “welfare dependent” versus the hardworking families.

Read more

Finland's Universal Basic Income Had a Surprise Effect on People's Beliefs

Inverse

Finland has completed a major trial into the effects of a basic income, and the preliminary results are positive. Recipients felt happier, less stressed, trusted politicians more, and even felt more comfortable on the same levels of income as people that did not receive a basic income.

“The findings are broadly positive, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions,” Luke Martinelli, a research associate from the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath, tells Inverse. “There are some significant results on self-reported well-being and levels of trust in other people and institutions.”

Read more

Premier needs primer in the value of universal basic income to the economy

The Star

Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, is poised to kill one of the world’s most ambitious and sophisticated universal basic income pilot projects (UBI), cutting a year off its intended three-year duration. The decision was made last July, soon after the Ford government came to power, and is effective March 31.

Ontario’s new government is able to do that because the UBI project, and its promise to reinvent social assistance and give poor people greater incentive to join the paid workforce, is scarcely known or understood.

Read more

The 4 key ways basic income changed people’s work lives for the better

Roderick Benns

While the federal government may be considering the merits of a basic income for Canadians, those participating in the Ontario pilot know already how it was changing their lives for the better.

In fact, there were four key ways basic income directly affected people’s work lives, according to survey information – more learning and education; affordability of transportation; starting or maintaining a business; and childcare.

Read more

Basic income 'saved me' from returning to the streets, Thunder Bay recipient says

CBC News

A participant in, and an advocate for, the basic income pilot project in Thunder Bay, Ont., says he's facing a lot of uncertainty now that the program is in its waning weeks.

The pilot, launched by the previous provincial Liberal government, was cancelled after the Progressive Conservatives came into office in the June 2018 election. Despite the six-month wind-down, anti-poverty activists have said canceling the program ahead of schedule puts many in very difficult situations.

Read more