Alberta could reduce poverty and introduce a guaranteed basic income with virtually no new funding by simply tweaking how it issues tax credits, according to a new report.
"Converting just a few non-refundable tax credits into refundable ones can produce a guaranteed annual income of over $6,000 for a single-adult family and over $9,000 for a two-adult family, with no significant new funding required," the report from Wayne Simpson and Harvey Stevens at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy reads.Read more
As the idea of giving every American a monthly check migrates from the political fringes toward the center of policy debates, one hedge-fund executive is contributing research on whether, and how, such a scheme might actually work.
Bob Jain, 48, created the Jain Family Institute, a nonprofit applied-research organization, in 2014 to investigate, among other things, programs for “guaranteed income.” Better known as Universal Basic Income, the idea is to give money to people, regardless of income bracket, at regular intervals.Read more
Advocates of a national basic income plan are calling on the provincial and federal governments to adopt a Canadian basic income guarantee program and say the “evidence speaks” for itself.
Basic Income Nova Scotia is hosting a mini-conference Saturday at the Halifax Central Library from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will bring experts from a range of backgrounds, from health and economics to those who live in poverty, in order to make the case for a universal basic income program and show how it can be implemented in Nova Scotia.Read more
A local social worker is sounding the alarm over the transition for people who were collecting basic income and then returned to ODSP, which left some people on disability with a gap in medication coverage.
Karla Forgaard-Pullen, a social worker based in Lindsay, says that some of the basic income recipients who were previously on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) are on a backlogged list waiting for their return to the program to be green lit. The basic income program issued its last payment in March.
“But what also ended March 31 is health and dental coverage,” says Forgaard-Pullen. “This means that there are medically disabled people living without access to their required prescription medications until, and if, they receive approval of their status as ODSP recipients.”
She says she knows that at least some of these cases the medications prescribed “are critical to their lives.”
Cathy Puffer, owner and pharmacist at Remedy’sRx confirms this.Read more
Guy Standing, Time Magazine
In America, and around the world, there has been a surge of interest in basic income. Under a basic income scheme, a government gives a fixed amount of cash, without strings attached, to every citizen. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is campaigning on the promise of a $1,000 basic income for all Americans, India’s opposition Congress Party pledged a basic income for the poor, and Finland recently completed a two-year basic income trial.Read more
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