Guaranteed income would reduce poverty
TheStar.com – Opinion/letter – Guaranteed income would reduce poverty
January 09, 2009
Throughout Canada, poverty and housing are problems of great urgency. The situation faced by more than 60 per cent of Canadians has worsened over the last decade. The current unemployment, along with an inadequate minimum wage, has greatly exacerbated the problems. Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor has increased steadily.
I believe that to give hard-working Canadian families the homes and quality of life they deserve, the government should consider taking these two actions:
The first: We are one of the only industrialized nations without a national housing policy. The economy is going through a difficult time, but that’s all the more reason to forge ahead and institute a progressive policy as soon as possible. It is disgraceful that in a nation as blessed as ours, children are going hungry, living in poverty and without adequate homes.
The second: A guaranteed annual income. When former PC leader Robert Stanfield suggested that in the 1960s, he was far ahead of his time. It would replace the multitude of stop-gap welfare and assistance programs across the country and provide a degree of security for families, just as the Old Age Pension does for seniors.
Shirley Bush, Toronto