Ontario Set to Trial Universal Basic Income.

In Brief

Ontario residents (all of them) will soon be recipients of cheques issued by the government, as they begin to trial the basic income concept.

The concept of universal basic income is a controversial one. On one hand, advocates argue that it will help save on welfare administration costs, lower poverty traps, and ultimately give people more autonomy through genuine social security. In the end, such people assert that it is an investment in the citizens of the future, a way to help make productive participants in society.

Detractors of the idea highlight susceptibility to inflation, erosion of private property, and question what this will mean in relation to labor.

If you aren’t farmilar with the topic, watch “Arguments Made in Favor of Universal Basic Income at the World Economic Forum” in the video below.

 

Yet, in spite of the questions surrounding it, Ontario, a province of Canada, will soon be implementing the basic income concept. Officials have yet to disclose specific details surrounding the trial, including how much will be given to residents involved in the trial, but Canada’s finance ministry has released a report confirming the government’s intent.

“As Ontario’s economy grows, the government remains committed to leaving no one behind. Maintaining an effective social safety net is one part of the government’s broader efforts to reduce poverty and ensure inclusion in communities and the economy,” the report explains.

Pilot

“The pilot project will test a growing view at home and abroad that basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support in the context of today’s dynamic labour market.”

In addition, the pilot program is set to study whether basic income will offer a more efficient way to provide income support and strengthen attachment to the labor force—which will hopefully translate towards savings in health care and housing.

Canada’s minister of families, children and social development, Jean-Yves Duclos (who’s spearheading the Canadian poverty-reaction strategy) has also expressed that he is “personally pleased that people are interested in the idea.”

 

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