Not feeding people is not an option for us

Halifax Examiner

I wrote about Universal Basic Income last May when I attended the Basic Income Conference hosted by Basic Income Nova Scotia. I saw a number of comments and posts about basic income in the last few days as a way to help the workers who are now out of work because of COVID-19.

As I learned, a basic income can help not only low and minimum wage workers, but also gig workers like musicians and artists, as well as entrepreneurs just starting out. Many of these workers are out of an income right now and don’t qualify for EI (although yesterday, Premier Stephen McNeil did say EI should be extended to the self-employed). In yesterday’s Morning File, Tim mentioned the need for a basic income as a bottom-up way to support the economy and workers.

Yesterday, Basic Income Nova Scotia released a statement and a petition calling on the federal government to start a basic-income program now for those workers who may sink into poverty over the next weeks and months. Here’s the full statement:

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Guaranteed basic income in a time of need

Kingston Whig-Standard

Last week, just as it was dawning on people that the COVID-19 crisis was shaping up to be monumental, I was in a downtown Kingston grocery store.

I noticed a fellow whose cart was groaning under the weight of water. He had five cases of 24 plastic bottles.

I suppose many have come to believe that tap water, treated at public expense, is not good enough. But, for me anyway, the sight of the water hoarder told a different story.

Why?

Because I asked Mr. Water why he was buying all that stuff.

“Lots of water in the tap?” I suggested.

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Keep it quiet, but basic income is coming

When you lock people down (to save their lives), you inevitably close down a lot of the economy as well.

And the lockdown will definitely have to last in most countries until May or June — Donald Trump’s promise of a “beautiful timeline” to reopening the U.S. economy just two weeks hence being delusional.

So where’s the money coming from in the meantime?

The majority of people still have jobs they get paid for: people in essential services who have to go to work, people who can do their work from home, and quite a few others as well.

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Kingston board of health calls for guaranteed basic income

Kingston Whig Standard
The need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has left the federal and provincial governments scrambling to make changes to keep Canadians’ financial arrangements from imploding as large parts of the economy grind to a halt.

There have been changes to unemployment insurance, evictions in Ontario are forbidden, banks are deferring mortgage payments, and a whole new array of financial support programs for individuals and businesses are being rolled out to keep everyone afloat.

But the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Board of Health is calling on the federal government to implement a less-complicated solution: a guaranteed basic income.

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Universal basic income offers stability during crisis

Winnipeg Free Press

These days no one should need convincing that our economic well-being can be affected by unexpected shocks.

Sometimes these shocks are due to big events, such as the coronavirus pandemic or the great recession in 2008. Sometimes they are due to changes in personal circumstances, such as illness, job loss or the death of a provider.

Individuals can try to plan, but many Canadians are financially strapped at the best of times and do not have the financial margin necessary to support strategies for weathering economic shocks.

After all, as of 2017, the latest year for which data are available, 5,869,110 Canadians lived in poverty (census family low-income measure, after tax).

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Trudeau just green lit a 'basic income' for Canadians

Roderick Benns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just announced a basic income for Canadians this past week. Well, he didn’t call it that, and yet that’s exactly what happened – at least temporarily.

A basic income ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of one’s work status.

Basic income, in Canada, would look similar to the Canada Child Benefit.

That is, as wages increase the benefit declines, but it declines progressively – not dollar for dollar.

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Feds Miss Chance To Test Universal Basic Income Amid Crisis

Huffington Post

During the Great Recession a decade ago, a meme went around echoing the words of renowned economist Milton Friedman. He said that when a crisis hits, the response depends on the ideas lying around.

In all, it amounts to $27 billion in direct stimulus spending, plus $55 billion in tax deferrals meant to give households and businesses breathing room until the fall, for a total cost of $82 billion.

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