• Don’t make ‘basic income’ an excuse for inaction

    The stark reality of that is shoddy housing, bad health, poor nutrition, social exclusion and petty crime — all the social ills that come with entrenched poverty. The government doesn’t need a five-year project to figure that out… “basic income” could be a game-changer — if it is designed properly”… In this area, the devil really is in the details… it could lead to a more generous, more efficient and more modern system. Or it could result in its opposite — a meaner, more constrained approach that puts public services at the mercy of the marketplace.

  • Toronto residents pin hopes on basic income

    Although a basic income could provide financial stability while younger workers get established, workers’ rights advocates caution the initiative must not be used to prop up precarious work and low wages. “Any basic income program must be accompanied by strong employment standards legislation, increased access to unionization and a minimum wage that brings people above the poverty line,” says Pam Frache, an organizer with the Workers’ Action Centre.

  • Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment

    Housing Minister Chris Ballard, responsible for Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, says basic income “has captured people’s imaginations.” “It’s a rare opportunity to make some real change… There has been so much talk, so much written. A little bit of study here, a little bit of study there. A lot of theory. We’re going to have an opportunity to do a rock-solid pilot that is either going to prove or disprove it.”

  • A short history of the poverty-busting power of basic income

    The idea of a minimum or basic income has been around for almost 500 years… But, now it’s the international darling once again. Pilot projects are planned or underway in almost a dozen countries in both the developed and underdeveloped world in response to concern that globalization and technological advances are leaving large swaths of the population behind.

  • Benefits of basic income will be felt by everyone

    Public resistance to basic income is largely rooted in the notion people who are paid to “do nothing” won’t be motivated to get a job, a supposition Segal says is completely unsupported. “There’s not a scintilla of evidence to back that up,” he told CBC’s The Current in November. Rather, freeing people from the unremitting stress and “time poverty” of constantly scrambling to make ends meet can give them a chance to better their situation — whether through employment, or upgrading their skills — without constantly proving their eligibility for benefits.

  • Guaranteed minimum incomes could be an election issue in Nova Scotia

    A guaranteed annual income has been defined as a single, cash payment that would replace all current social programs, such as welfare and employment insurance. It would create a minimum income below which no Canadian would fall. Statistics Canada now sets a “low-income line” at about $22,200 for a single person and $47,000 for a family with three children. Sen. Segal contends that such a policy would be affordable because it would be funded with the dollars available from the elimination of other social programs and the savings from avoiding poverty’s immense costs.

  • A guaranteed basic income? Humbug!

    … what if the owning and renting classes simply view a BI as another source to be scarfed up through higher rents, charges, privatized highways etc., so it ends up merely expanding the gulf between the rich and the rest? Would I vote for it? Maybe, as a desperate stopgap measure. People have to survive. But I wouldn’t stop skulking around, conniving and contriving a way to contest power, not just gratefully accept its ambiguous droppings.

  • Child benefits cut tax rate for families in Canada, OECD report finds

    At the turn of the century, a single-income family with two children in Canada had an effective tax rate of 14.2 per cent. That rate fell below 10 per cent after the Great Recession and dropped dramatically over the past two years… Over the same period, the net personal average tax rate for a single worker remained above 20 per cent.

  • Ontario ends onerous reviews for disabled people on welfare

    Beginning this month, those whose medical conditions have not improved will no longer be required to fill out the same forms they completed for their initial application for benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)… “The new process is simple, efficient and reduces a lot of the stress for patients and (medical) providers… And it is going to save the health care and social service system a lot of unnecessary costs.”

  • How we implement basic income will define our future

    In Western economies… pre-retirement assistance is an increasingly dysfunctional patchwork of schemes. Some are directed at certain groups while ignoring others. Many are tied to employment… We’re coming back to UBI now because the “social contract” between employers and workers lies in ruins. The decline of unions has consigned powerless workers to exploitative workplaces. And the tax system has been perverted to liberate the wealthiest 1 per cent from paying their fair share.