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Universal Basic Income Is a No-Brainer

August 4, 2018 in Blogs

By The Conversation

One of the best proxies that we have for understanding the effects of a basic income policy from an economic perspective in Canada is the guaranteed income received by seniors.


Ontario’s minister of children, community and social services just announced that the Canadian province’s landmark basic income pilot project would be terminated. Lisa MacLeod did not offer an alternative for moving forward, apart from a vague mention of a “better plan in 100 days.”

The project has been running since April 2017. It reached full enrolment with 4,000 residents receiving the basic income payment in three communities: the Hamilton area, the Thunder Bay area and Lindsay. More than 2,000 additional individuals are volunteering as participants in the study without receiving monthly payments. They are helping to serve as a comparison group, to measure the differential effects for those in the program.

The Ontario pilot had already diverged to some extent from other models of basic income programs. A “full” basic income model is universal. It is based on the principle of targeting all individuals in a community unconditionally, regardless of income, without clawbacks.

Participants in Ontario received up to $16,989 per year for a single person, less 50 per cent of any earned income. Couples received $24,027 per year, less 50 per cent of any earned income. Up to an additional $6,000 per year was provided for a person with a disability.

MacLeod later admitted that the cancellation of the pilot was a broken campaign promise. In rationalizing the decision, she explained that the program was a disincentive to participants becoming “independent contributors to the economy.” She went on: “We want to get people back on track and be productive members of society where that’s possible.”

This is poppycock.

‘Ignorant’ decision

Caring about the economy and society means caring about the outcome of the basic income pilot.

The Ontario Progressive Conservative government’s decision is ignorant of the considerable thought and analysis on basic income as a promising policy solution for improving lives and strengthening the economy, ideas that come from the right and the left.

One of the best proxies that …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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