Giving people direct, recurring cash payments, no questions asked, is a simple idea — and an old one. Different formulations of a guaranteed income have been promoted by civil rights leaders, conservative thinkers, labor experts, Silicon Valley types, U.S. presidential candidates and even the Pope. Now, it’s U.S. cities that are putting the concept in action.
Fueled by a growing group of city leaders, philanthropists and nonprofit organizations, 2021 will see an explosion of guaranteed income pilot programs in U.S. cities. At least 11 direct-cash experiments will be in effect this year, from Pittsburgh to Compton.Read more
A basic income program could have saved lives and reduced COVID-19 transmission when the pandemic struck last spring, says one of the country’s leading experts.
And basic income, as both a health and a poverty reduction policy, could still help people weather the second wave and those to come, said Evelyn Forget.
“When government decided that it was a public health emergency response and they closed down the economy in March,” said Forget in an interview, “they knew immediately that the social programs wouldn’t work, and that we had to put emergency supports in place if we were going to keep people home.”Read more
At the beginning of December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he could see no path forward for a guaranteed basic income right now. For the sake of Canadians everywhere, he should spend some more time looking.
Many working Canadians are struggling in the current labour market. Globalization, rapid technological change and the gig economy have changed the nature of the labour market.
People no longer spend the majority of their career working for one company; many jobs limit the number of hours an employee can work to avoid providing them with benefits; and jobs in the gig economy (for example, Uber drivers, food delivery drivers, renting out your home via Airbnb, and selling services or products through the internet) carry no benefits at all.Read more
P.E.I. Minister of Social Development and Housing Ernie Hudson is preparing another letter — his third in the past 18 months — asking the federal government to contribute funding for a basic income pilot program here.
This latest request comes on the heels of a report from the provincial legislature recommending the province ask Ottawa to contribute unspecified funding to support a $270-million-a-year program to provide a guaranteed annual income of $18,260 to more than 50,000 Islanders.
The report, authored by MLAs from all three parties that have members in the legislature, suggests the program could function as a national pilot.
But so far, Hudson's letters haven't prompted any written response from the ministerial level — just a note from a federal staffer following the second letter saying Hudson's message had been received.Read more
Senator Kim Pate addressed the Senate during Second Reading debate on Appropriation Bill No. 5 - 2020-21.
She addresses the fact that yet again, this Bill leaves Canada's most vulnerable behind after being left out of CERB.
The price of food is expected to climb dramatically in 2021 at a time when many Canadians can barely afford to feed their families, following the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet to kick off the “season of giving,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a pre-Thanksgiving video to Twitter asking Canadians to pick up “an extra item or two for the local food bank and help a family in need.”
Trudeau collected non-perishables at a Metro supermarket, emptied his purchases into a donation bin and assured us that buying food from the grocery retail oligopoly to support local food banks is the Canadian way.Read more
A special all-party committee of the P.E.I. legislature is urging the provincial government to begin "immediate negotiations" with the federal government seeking support for a universal basic income guarantee for the province.
But such a program would come with a significant price tag, estimated at $260 million per year — almost $100 million more than the current budget for the entire P.E.I. Department of Social Development and Housing.
Providing all Prince Edward Islanders with access to a guaranteed basic income would "ensure every Islander, no matter their circumstance, can live with basic health and dignity," MLA Trish Altass told the legislature Tuesday.Read more
Job guarantees and free money: 'Utopian' ideas tested in Europe as pandemic gives governments a new role
Christine Jardine, a Scottish politician who represents Edinburgh in the UK parliament, was not a fan of universal basic income before the pandemic hit.
Universal basic income (UBI) has been proposed as a potential way of future-proofing for any society-wide event.
It is something that has operated in other countries, but has not yet been seen in the UK.
So could UBI be one solution to huge levels of economic uncertainty, as seen during the coronavirus lockdown?
What is UBI?
Universal basic income is a flat rate payment that is paid on a regular basis to every individual in society, regardless of their employment status.
What if people no longer had to worry about their income? Marwa Fatafta has often asked herself that question. "So much anxiety and stress would simply vanish," said Fatafta, who came to Germany as a Palestinian migrant and made a life for herself in Berlin.
"To me, it was clear quite early on that freedom also means being financially independent," Fatafta told DW. At first, she had hoped to live from her art, but when she realized it would not give her a regular income she gave up that dream. Today, Fatafta works for Access Now, an organization that promotes digital personal rights.
Fatafta is one of about 2 million people in Germany who has applied to the Basic Income Pilot Project. Starting next spring, 122 of the applicants will receive €1,200 ($1,422) per month for three years. No strings attached.Read more