So, the news has filtered down to the UK’s newspaper The Independent that Canada is considering a Basic Income for the nation’s ‘precariats’. Paid for out of taxation of course – you know, tax the rich to pay the poor - not created by a National Credit Office and issued debt free, as proposed by Social Credit concepts.
“Unlike its neighbour the United States, Canada projects an image of peace, plenty and progressive policies. But there’s a quiet rumble across the North American country. While the rest of the world is in love with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his popularity ratings at home are down 9 per cent on last year. Income inequality is acute and unemployment is still stubbornly high. What new work that is being created in Canada’s economy is precarious and part-time. Wage rises are being eaten away at by inflation since the financial crisis and millions of jobs are at risk from automation.
A recent report by Unicef ranked Canada 37th out of 41 rich countries in terms of child poverty, with more than a fifth of the country’s children living below the poverty line. Tried and trusted methods like the state’s many welfare payments are failing to make much impact in a time of constrained funding. Politicians and the public are looking for new solutions.
One such possibility has reared its head in recent years, a radical idea: that of basic income. This seems at first glance a simple notion: the state paying all citizens, whether they’re working or not, a basic wage on a regular basis and without the complexities of conventional welfare programmes. Supporters of basic income say it could radically reduce poverty and inequality while providing stability in an increasingly uncertain labour market. As an added bonus, it lacks the stigma associated with most means-tested benefits…
The Ontario pilot may not be a quick cure all for Canada’s current quiet rumble but basic income seems to be an idea whose time has come. The move from theory to practise is undeniably a significant shift.”