Implementing a basic income means overcoming myths about the ‘undeserving poor’

The Conversation

Newfoundland and Labrador recently announced plans to introduce a basic income for people aged 60-64 receiving social assistance. It is slated to roll out in April 2024 and will match existing federal seniors’ benefits.

On Prince Edward Island, a recent report has outlined how the province could reduce poverty by adopting a basic income. Meanwhile in Ottawa, the Senate is considering developing a framework for a national basic income. Momentum behind a basic income is clearly growing in Canada.

Still, some remain skeptical and reservations about basic income often come down to ideas about who truly deserves assistance.

Treating poverty as an individual problem

There are largely three explanations for poverty. First, the individual explanation points to personal failings or inadequacies (like laziness or lack of discipline) as key contributors.

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