A guaranteed basic income could end poverty, so why isn’t it happening?

The Conversation

On April 27, Senator Diane Bellemare published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail opposing a proposal for guaranteed basic income where all Canadian citizens and residents over the age of 17 would receive unconditional guaranteed sufficient income.

One recent poll suggests nearly 60 per cent of Canadians support a basic income of $30,000. In another poll, 57 per cent of Canadians agree that Canada should create a basic universal income for all Canadians, regardless of employment.

Despite the strong public support, Bellemare argued that, “A basic income would be an unfair, complicated, and costly way to eliminate poverty.” As a social scientist who has researched cash transfers, and an entrepreneur and organizational leader, we challenge the view that basic income is “unfair”, “complicated” and “costly.” Instead, we argue that it can be fair, simple and affordable.

Basic income can be fair

Basic income can be fair to all Canadians, accommodating people with different needs. A system that includes basic income does not necessarily entail clawing back existing benefits and services.

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