A Basic Income is money provided by the government that helps to ensure that all Canadians meet their basic needs, participate in society and live with dignity regardless of work status.
How Much Would It Pay?
The amount paid must be enough to provide an adequate standard of living as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The benefit amount should allow recipients without adequate income to live with dignity, be healthy and participate in their community.
Wouldn’t Everyone Stop Working?
PEOPLE WORK FOR two MAIN REASONS:
1. They have a strong urge to do something constructive with their talents
2. They want a good standard of living
Numerous studies have demonstrated that most people continue to work when receiving Basic Income.
How Would It Be Paid For?
Multiple Canadian studies, reports and economic modelling have concluded that Canada can afford to implement a Basic Income program to address poverty and income precarity in Canada. Expert research and evidence supporting this conclusion has been provided by:
- The Parliamentary Budget Officer Reports
- The Basic Income Canada Network Report detailing Three Policy Options
- The Royal Society of Canada
- The Coalition Canada Brief to the House of Commons Committee
- The Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA)
How Would It Work?
It would be a federal program administered through Revenue Canada. Anyone who files an income tax return could be eligible to receive the benefit. It would replace some of the income-support programs we have now, such as social assistance and some tax credits. It would be supplemented with other programs such as housing, employment, childcare, disability and health care supports.
What’s Wrong With Our Current System?
Canada’s economy is doing a poor job of providing secure, adequate incomes for enough people, and our current system is not providing a reliable safety net to prevent people from suffering hardship. Canada is also seeing increasing inequality in the distribution of wealth.
In 2019, about 3.7 million Canadians, or 10.1% of the population, lived below Canada’s official poverty line, and 11.6% or 2.7 million adults aged 18 to 64 lived below the poverty line. For children under 18 years of age (680,000), the poverty rate was 9.7%.
Nearly 1/3 of Canadians say they don’t make enough money to pay their bills and their debts.
Inequality and the wealth gap are increasing. A 2020 Parliamentary Budget Office Report indicated that about 20% of Canada’s wealth is controlled by the richest .5 % of the population. And the top 1% of Canada’s families hold about 25.6 % of the wealth – up from previously estimated 13.7%.
These current statistics serve as an extension of the findings from an earlier study of wealth distribution from 1999 to 2012, which stated, “Average wealth increased by 80% among families in the top income quintile and by 38% among families in the bottom quintile.”(Uppal & LaRochelle-Cote, 2015, p.1).
As inequality and the wealth gap continue to increase, Basic Income is the best way to mend the holes in our social safety net, and meet the needs of vulnerable Canadians.
INCOME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DETERMINANT OF HEALTH. BASIC INCOME RELIEVES POVERTY AND STUDIES HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT BASIC INCOME:
- Decreases emergency department visits for accidents/ injuries and mental health reasons
- Increases food security
- Decreases crime
- Improves high school graduation rates
basic income PROVIDES THE UNCONDITIONAL INCOME SECURITY TO:
- Start or grow a business
- Pursue education, skills training and artistic endeavors
- Cope better with precarious employment conditions
- Increase earned income
- Increase productivity
- Support caregivers