Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 19, 2017

Another Low Road to Basic Income? Mapping a Pragmatic Model for Adopting a Basic Income in Canada

Tracy A Smith-Carrier and Steven Green
From the journal Basic Income Studies

Abstract

Drawing from both theoretical and empirical research, the literature on basic income (BI) is now voluminous, pronouncing both its merits and its limitations. Burgeoning research documents the impacts of un/conditional cash transfers and negative income tax programs, with many studies highlighting the effectiveness of these programs in reducing poverty, and improving a host of social, economic and health outcomes. We consider possible avenues for BI architecture to be adopted within Canada’s existing constellation of income security programs, to the benefit of disadvantaged groups in society. Identifying key federal and provincial (i.e., Ontario) transfer and tax benefit programs, we highlight which programs might best be maintained or converted to a BI. While opponents decry the (alleged) exorbitant costs of BI schemes, we suggest that the existing approach not only produces an ineffective system—which actually engenders poverty and the health and social problems that accompany it—but an excessively costly one.

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