A basic income system would provide every individual in the country with a cash payment at regular intervals, without any requirement to work or qualify for it.
This payment would be given to every citizen regardless of their wealth, employment or personal status. A range of different figures have been suggested, but it would be enough to cover the basics of life and would serve as a replacement for all existing benefit payments.
There have long been debates about whether this would be a guaranteed safety net that would expand freedom of choice and cut bureaucracy in the welfare system, or a ruinously expensive incentive for people to do less work.
Up until now, in the UK at least, it has chiefly been chin-stroking fodder for think tank round-tables and discussion papers.Read more
The concept of universal basic income (UBI) is simple: provide a set amount of “basic income” for survival to every citizen regularly with no strings attached.
Supporters on the left believe that it will lift people out of poverty and increase the quality of life. On the right, supporters believe that UBI could reduce the burden on the state’s welfare system and maximize individual choices instead.
In recent years, UBI has attracted more considerable attention with increased concerns over growing economic inequality and the effect of automation upon the labor market.Read more
As our people and small businesses hold on for their lives and livelihoods, many are wondering what happened to the grand promise of unfettered capitalism. What happened to the promise of endless growth? Of the greatness of the free market?
The sheer inadequacy of the market to respond to this pandemic, the utter weakness of big business to pull us out of this mess is itself a master lesson in economics. It’s also an indictment of extreme capitalism.
It’s not the markets that are saving us now; it’s our governments, led by a prime minister and premiers and talented bureaucrats who have learned that they have the tools at their disposal to chart a course for the public good. And how silly we ever once thought that hundreds of corporations, all working in their own self-interest, could a country make.Read more
The Sarnia Observer
Sarnia’s mayor says the time has come for Canada to implement a guaranteed basic income.
The concept of a new and simplified income security program has gained traction during the pandemic, with the federal government’s Canada Emergency Relief Benefit, or CERB, coming close to a basic income measure.
Last week, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for both a municipal assistance program and a basic income plan.
A basic income top-up would eliminate the bureaucracy and provide stability for people living below the poverty line, he said.Read more
Canada is a country with no shortage of government programs aimed at assisting individuals and families in need.
Decade after decade during the 20th century Canada built the architecture of a welfare state to eradicate social and political injustices.
Bits and pieces of policy at the federal and provincial level now make up a fortress of legislation to address the basic needs of individuals and groups.
For example, at the federal level in 1942 Unemployment Insurance would become Employment Insurance, followed by Family Allowance Act 1944, Old Age Security 1951, 1954 Disabled Persons Act, 1956 Hospital Insurance, Old Age Security Act, 1965, 1966, Canada Assistance Plan (grants to provinces), 1967 Guaranteed Income Supplement, 1979 Child Tax Credit.Read more
A minimum income plan is being drawn up by the Spanish government to tackle poverty and end the "hunger queues" that have become a frequent sight under coronavirus lockdown.
For 38-year-old Roberto Sotelo, from Madrid and his family, the economic impact of coronavirus is taking its toll. The construction worker was laid off three months ago, and the lockdown has so far stopped him from working.Read more
It's all about creating options for those without a source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kitchener city council has endorsed a motion, asking the Ontario government to pursue a partnership with their federal counterparts to establish a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Ward 7 councillor Bil Ioannidis put the motion forward Monday, saying he wanted to get the conversation going, and wants a broader discussion on the topic.Read more
What a difference a year makes.
Last March, Ontario’s basic income pilot project was cancelled, leaving about 4,000 Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay residents scrambling to recoup a monthly financial stipend they said had transformed their lives.
Under the program, individuals would receive about $13,000 per year, while couples got about $19,000 regardless of employment status. Individuals receiving the financial help said knowing they would have a sustainable and secure source of money immediately bolstered their health, improved their self-esteem and allowed them to look for a job or establish a path to carve out a career.Read more
The next time the world is blindsided by a global emergency, the economy will better survive it if everyone is paid what they need to survive it -- before it hits, experts say.
And if employers don't cough up the cash, they say, governments should.
"It is now quite clear that virtually everybody in society has a profound interest in lower-income people having the purchasing power to buy food and pay their rent," said political scientist Ron Hikel.Read more
Many Canadians have lost jobs but have been saved from financial ruin during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, some are hoping the government keeps that type of social assistance around.Read more