• 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.

  • 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.

  • Ottawa should not delay on action to fight poverty

    … much more must be done to ensure EI reflects the shifting reality of work and is adequate to the current cost of living… Some 170,000 households are currently waiting for [public housing] units, with the average wait time at around four years… the day-care situation remains dire. This situation robs too many people, particularly mothers, of the opportunity to work or train… a refundable version of the [disability tax] credit… would be a far more effective tool for helping those with disabilities who need it the most.

  • Liberals Launching Consultations On Poverty Reduction Strategy

    Duclos said the work of the committee, as well as similar consultations being undertaken by a panel of MPs, is needed to finally build a federal vision on poverty reduction… “how it measures it, how it’s going to monitor the progress in reducing it and how it’s going to collaborate with other governments in order to better support our families living in need and to encourage them to enter the middle class. All of that has been missing.”

  • We have a lot better ways to relieve poverty than the outdated ‘guaranteed minimum income’

    … most periods of low-income are relatively short, requiring supports that cannot be well met by tax-based basic income designs… for the minority of low-income people who are persistently poor, the best solutions involve integrated mixes of income and a variety of services — not a stand-alone standardized income benefit, which is not based on individual circumstances and needs.

  • Anti-poverty activists rally behind Hamilton MPP’s social assistance bill

    A local initiative called Fix the Gap has launched a postcard writing campaign and website, among other efforts, to press the Liberal government at Queen’s Park to enact the bill that would set the stage for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients to receive payments that are more consistent with the cost of living… A key feature of the bill would be establishing an expert panel to clarify differences in the cost of living in different regions of the province.

  • Providing Basic Income Not Best Solution for Poverty

    … aside from their high cost, [GAI programs] do not respond well to new information about the nature of poverty. In particular, most periods of low income are short-lived and often require solutions that are more time-sensitive and more attuned to individual circumstances than is possible in traditional GAI designs. As well, for the minority of low-income people who are persistently poor, the best solutions involve integrated mixes of income supports and, often, a variety of services.