By Roderick Benns
The federal Liberals have voted to shake-up Canada’s social policy by moving toward a “minimum guaranteed income” model.
At the party’s national convention just held in Winnipeg, the resolution states the party will, in consultation with the provinces, “develop a poverty reduction strategy aimed at providing a minimum guaranteed income.”
Reaction from the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) was swift.Read more
Switzerland’s traditionally conservative electorate will next month vote on the superficially preposterous idea of handing out an unconditional basic income of SFr30,000 ($30,275) a year to every citizen, regardless of work, wealth or their social contribution.
Opinion polls suggest the June 5 referendum will be heavily defeated. And even if some kind of electoral convulsion results in the proposal being unexpectedly approved by voters, it is certain to be shot down by the 26 cantons that would have to implement it.Read more
By Lorna Turnbull for The Winnipeg Free Press
‘We are a ‘have’ province," Brian Pallister proclaimed in his victory speech April 19, "(and) we will build a better future for all Manitobans."
On Monday, the premier set the tone for the future of Manitoba with his throne speech mapping out the new government’s agenda.
A few weeks from now, the Conservatives’ first budget will let us see if they will put our money where their mouth is.Read more
By Dylan Matthews for VOX
Basic income is having a moment.
The governments of Finland, Ontario, and Utrecht are all launching tests of the policy proposal, under which everyone in a given country would get a set amount of money every year, no strings attached. The charity GiveDirectly is set to give basic incomes to 6,000 people in Kenya, and the tech industry powerhouse Y Combinator is funding an experiment evaluating the idea.
Andy Stern — the former head of the major union SEIU, and a close confidant of the Obama administration — argues at length for basic income in a forthcoming book, Raising the Floor.Read more
By Stanislas Jourdan
The first EU-wide opinion survey on basic income finds a great majority of Europeans know about basic income and are supportive of the idea.
While it is no surprise that basic income has gained a lot of popularity over the past few months, it is difficult to grasp exactly how mainstream basic income has begun. That’s where opinion polls can help.
In Europe – where most of the political developments are happening in Finland, the Netherlands, and France – a new poll survey shows the magnitude of the trend – and it’s very encouraging.Read more
By Kate McFarland
Inspired by the popular initiative for a basic income in Switzerland — where citizens will vote on a basic income on the 5th of June — the group Omnibus for Direct Democracy has joined forces with several basic income advocacy groups to launch a campaign for a basic income referendum in Germany.
An important difference between the two countries, however, is that Germany does not currently permit referendums at the federal level. The main goal of Omnibus for Direct Democracy is to reform the German democratic system so that citizens can introduce and vote on national referendums — as reflected in its slogan, “Wir wollen abstimmen” (“We want to vote”).Read more
By Crystal Hsu
Nobel laureate Angus Deaton yesterday lent support to basic income grants as part of government efforts to mitigate wealth and consumption inequality.
“The government should take care of people with low income and should be pushing basic income grants,” the economist told a forum at the Taipei International Convention Center.Read more
By Toni Pickard
An article recently published in the UK's Guardian newspaper, entitled ‘The basic income is a dangerous idea that gives the state power to control every penny that citizens spend’ (May 15, 2106) is based on a number of misconceptions about how a properly designed basic income guarantee would work.
First, in Ontario, Canada, as an example, right now the state does in fact dictate how the benefits paid out through Provincial welfare systems are spent. In some provinces, the inadequate amount allotted for rent is paid directly to landlords rather than to the recipient, thereby enforcing state control. Basic income, in contrast, is meant to end exactly that kind of micromanagement of people's lives. It removes all state control, distributing the income without conditions (apart from some residency requirement) and regardless of work status. Autonomy and dignity via freedom from state oversight are essential aspects of basic income design.Read more
When pregnant women were trusted with $81 a month in prenatal benefits, no strings attached, their babies' physical health did better, say Manitoba researchers, who would like similar income supplements to be offered across Canada.
The Healthy Baby Prenatal Benefit offers support to families with a net household income of less than $32,000, on a sliding scale.
In Thursday's online issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers say babies born to low-income women who received the benefit in 2003 to 2010 did better in terms of low birth weight and prematurity than a similar group born to low-income women who didn't.Read more
By Roderick Benns
Kingston, Ontario’s Basic Income advocacy group is putting forward a range of activities and ideas to educate the public and to network with their colleagues from other areas of the province and country.
Toni Pickard, a long-time organizer for the Kingston group, says they have just completed work on a new website, and something they are calling a “Charter for Basic income.”
“It’s an effort to set out our picture of what principles a basic income program should be guided by,” she says.
Pickard notes that some of the points build on a November workshop agreement, as well as aspects of the design and delivery process the group feels are important.Read more