Jamie Swift has been arguing for the introduction of a basic income for years.
But with the previously unseen levels of economic downturn initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement toward basic income has earned increasing traction in recent months.
Swift, a local writer and member of the Kingston Action Group for a basic income guarantee, was one of four people who co-ordinated a new report by the Ontario Basic Income Network that says basic income will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
“The idea of basic income has indeed gone viral,” Swift said.Read more
Advocates for a universal basic income say they're hopeful the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, introduced to help unemployed and underemployed Canadians through the pandemic, will pave the way toward a more equitable system for all.
Turning the CERB into a universal basic income is the logical progression for the program, according to Elaine Power, a Queen's University researcher and member of the Basic Income Canada Network in Kingston, Ont.
"There's more and more pressure on the government, I would say, to extend the CERB. I think the basic income would be a logical extension of CERB, and it's a more rational plan," Power told Ottawa Morning on Thursday.Read more
St. Catharines Standard
Niagara’s public health department is asking regional councillors to lobby upper-tier governments to develop a guaranteed basic income pilot project, in light of the inequitable impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low income residents.
A motion will be considered at Tuesday’s public health and social services committee meeting, recommends that councillors call on the federal and provincial government to prioritize measures to reduce poverty and income inequality in society, while recommending pilot projects such as basic income guarantee projects.Read more
Winnipeg Free Press
Basic Income Manitoba partnered with the Winnipeg Free Press for its essay contest that challenged entrants to write about what it would mean to have a society in which every individual had sufficient income for their basic needs.
As part of that partnership, the Free Press is publishing the winning entries from the high school and post-secondary categories.
High school winner: Heidi Jean, Maples Met School
Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, once wrote, "In the daily lives of most men and women, fear plays a greater part than hope: they are more filled with the thought of the possessions that others may take from them, than of the joy that they might create in their own lives and in the lives with which they come in contact."Read more
During this COVID 19 Pandemic, Justin Trudeau should seize this moment and take an initiative to implement new socially progressive programs, like a universal basic income and a national pharmacare program. Our country needs a Franklin Delano Roosevelt “New Deal” Approach to some of our country’s socioeconomic ills! Out of the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945) came Social Security and Unemployment Insurance, and in Canada’s case, Family Allowance (or the “Baby Bonus”).
Many of our European allies implemented universal public medicare (including pharmacare) systems in their respective countries long before Canada did. Now, hard times call for desperate measures!
Some people are aware that I have been involved with the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations since it was first initiated by the former Danny Williams PC Government in 2005! When it comes to Poverty and our social safety net, it is a complicated issue.
Out of the poverty reduction strategy recommendations, there is pharmacare, dental care, child care, basic income, a living wage, housing, and medical transportation, etc.Read more
Basic Income Earth Network
This past week, Finland released the final results from its two-year “basic income” experiment. The program produced a modest increase in working days among basic income recipients and noticeable improvements in perceived happiness and healthiness.
Is this a surprise? When governments give people cash assistance, of course, their lives will improve. And with financial stress alleviated, these recipients will still find productive uses for their time.
Simply imagine the unearned suffering billions of people could have been spared if governments had implemented basic income prior to the pandemic and global economic depression.Read more
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
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