Universal livable basic income in times of crisis and beyond

Posted on April 9, 2020 in Policy Context

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Universal livable basic income could be distributed and taxed back where total incomes warrant, using the current tax system. This is one of the most simple and effective ways of distributing funds to those in need… It would allow us to build on already existing government infrastructure rather than creating additional programs to administer… Universal livable basic income can reduce financial inequality and help vulnerable people secure safe and healthy accommodation in their everyday lives and during times of crisis.

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Child & Family

Province opening 50,000 free, 24-hour, child care spaces for essential workers

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Ontario is partnering with municipalities and First Nations to open as many as 50,000 child care spaces for essential workers across the province in centres that will be free and available 24-7… All licensed child care centres in the province were ordered closed last Tuesday to help slow the spread of COVID-19… Free, 24-7 child care for children up to age 12 is unprecedented


Tories to inject $2 million in new funding for rape crisis centres — one day after signalling $1 million had been cut

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In an apparent communications snafu from Ford’s Tories, the centres are in fact getting a cash infusion from Queen’s Park… The confusion apparently stems from the fact that the government is planning a new strategy to curb human trafficking expected to be announced Friday… Still, last year’s one-time $1-million funding announcement by the Tories was far less than the $14 million over three years the centres had been promised by the previous Liberal government.


Education

Zombie schemes & bad outcomes

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I’m pretty certain the governments summoning the zombie of performance-based funding back to life realize that their inappropriate measures can’t possibly make any college or university better at educating anyone. Rather, it’s a cynical move in- tended to set us up for failure, so that planned cuts can be cloaked as the result of “objective measures” that are actually loaded with ideology. The point is ultimately to control post-secondary institutions, and the work that takes place in them.


Invest in colleges now to rebuild Ontario after COVID-19: OPSEU

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“It takes $4.7 billion to operate Ontario’s colleges… About $1.1 billion – almost a quarter – comes from international student tuition. As the government has cut funding, colleges have relied more and more on international students to make up the shortfall. With COVID-19, and without joint problem solving, that income will dry up – and so will college revenues. We’re looking at a postsecondary education catastrophe in the making.”


Employment

Universal livable basic income in times of crisis and beyond

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Universal livable basic income could be distributed and taxed back where total incomes warrant, using the current tax system. This is one of the most simple and effective ways of distributing funds to those in need… It would allow us to build on already existing government infrastructure rather than creating additional programs to administer… Universal livable basic income can reduce financial inequality and help vulnerable people secure safe and healthy accommodation in their everyday lives and during times of crisis.


Ottawa should produce vital products — like it did in the Second World War

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… many companies have signalled a willingness to produce materials for the pandemic. But, without a powerful government agency overseeing production and distribution, we’ve been left scrambling to buy scarce equipment in a chaotic private marketplace, bidding against U.S. states and governments all over the world. If the Trudeau government seems unable to break out of its subservience to the marketplace, some in the labour movement are showing more vision.


Equality

Ontario Increases Support for Indigenous Postsecondary Education

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Ontario is… investing in Indigenous students and their potential with increased funding to Indigenous Institutes to provide postsecondary education and training for hundreds of learners… “Indigenous Institutes are a critical part of our public education system because they provide a culturally holistic learning environment that prepares learners for success in the workforce… “Indigenous Institutes play a significant role in serving the learners, communities and regional areas in which they operate”


Pull Yourself Up by Bootstraps? Go Ahead, Try It

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… this bootstraps narrative drives out good policy in three ways. First, it suggests that historically Americans rose purely through rugged individualism… Second, the bootstraps narrative often suggests that benefits programs are counterproductive because they foster “dependency.” … Third, the bootstraps narrative implies that… because some people can run a four-minute mile, everyone can… American children need fewer wagging fingers or homilies about bootstraps, and more helping hands.


Health

Innovations in health care during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The now viral Twitter-based #caremongering campaign is a great example of how Canadians come together during times of crisis to look after one another… one of the most striking examples of virtual #caremongering is displayed by OpenLab’s Friendly Neighbour Hotline… the unbelievably rapid response to creating new international randomized trials of different therapies for COVID-19 is like none we have ever seen before.


Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

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Deaths of Despair sheds important light on how the loss of manufacturing jobs and the rise of graduates have been two sides of the same coin in a US that has deindustrialised at breakneck speed in some regions, while shifting at a similar pace to a tech-focused “knowledge economy” in others. The economic, social and political consequences have been momentous… What Case and Deaton’s book vividly demonstrates is that, in the context of a malfunctioning form of capitalism, the myth of educational “meritocracy” can seriously damage people’s health.


Inclusion

Justin Trudeau unveils wages subsidy changes, increased support for student jobs

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“They are new to the workforce so they don’t have a lot of money set aside for this kind of situation. At the same time, they need work experience to secure their new jobs and money to cover living expenses.” The government has also promised changes to allow part-time workers who have seen their hours cut to access emergency aid that pays $500 a week for 16 weeks… We will have additional measures to put in place to help the most vulnerable Canadians”


The forgotten sector in the COVID-19 fight

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Across Ontario, there are more than 100 Community Living organizations serving 12,000 people with intellectual disabilities… Unlike workers in hospitals and health clinics, though, Community Living staff are not considered health-care workers. That means they have to scramble for protective gloves, masks and extra help for their clients.


Social Security

COVID-19 has exposed wide gaps in Canada’s social-safety net

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This pandemic has shone an unflattering light on how austerity measures have led to fewer investments in supporting individuals and families – measures that would have helped cushion the blow that many people in Canada are now feeling… While governments across the country have rushed to respond to this crisis by investing in social programs and financial assistance, when we reach the other side of COVID-19 those social programs must stay in place – societal inequities that existed before this crisis won’t disappear on their own.


Open Letter urges Ontario to boost support for people on social assistance

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A coalition of more than 130 health care workers, community agencies and Ontarians living in poverty is urging Queen’s Park to increase benefits immediately to almost one million residents on social assistance struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis… the coalition says in an open letter to Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith… “If we are to weather this storm together, we must ensure that nobody in Ontario is left behind”


Governance

Why Canada’s emergency response benefit rollout might be a mistake

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As the Trudeau government scrambles to include one forgotten group after another in the wage-support program, the argument for shifting to a universal basic income grows more compelling… But [the Prime Minister sidestepped repeated questions… as to why the government hadn’t opted for a guaranteed basic income instead of a program that is constantly in need of fixes… the debate over a guaranteed basic income could become a major issue in the next election.


COVID-19 Emergency Benefits: Who’s included, who’s left out and the role of provinces

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We normally design income support policies to ensure that we encourage work rather than provide benefits that discourage labour market activity, but we need to be doing exactly the opposite right now. Policy makers accustomed to making sure the design of a program only reaches their intended group need to adjust their thinking caps and cast a broader net. Multiple patches on an already patchwork system will be slow, messy, and exclude too many people that need help…