As if we weren’t already convinced that Canada is one of the coolest countries in the world, they go and do this.
According to Business Insider, Ontario’s government announced plans last month to introduce a pilot scheme in which they essentially send people free money unconditionally.
It all sounds too good to be true but, apparently, similar programs have been tried out in Finland and the Netherlands and been very successful.
The premise is simple – the government sends people monthly cheques to cover living expenses such as food, transportation, clothing, and utilities – no questions asked.
It’s called ‘basic income’ and the plan is to roll out the scheme in the Canadian province later this year, and the national organisation promoting the concept have high hopes for its chances in Ontario and beyond.
In a statement, Sheila Regehr, chair of Basic Income Canada Network, said:
We need it rolled out across Canada, and Quebec, too, is in the game. So there’s no reason why people and governments in other parts of this country need sit on the sidelines – it’s time for us all to get to work.
At the moment, there’s no word on how much each person would receive under the basic income program but the money will reportedly come from a portion of Ontario’s budget set aside for the experiment.
In Finland, people get an additional 800 euros under the country’s similar scheme – around £600 or £900 – while those in the Netherlands get an extra 900 euros – £700 or $1,000. Not too shabby!
Given the number of cuts the UK government are making, we don’t expect we’ll be seeing a similar scheme any time soon over here. But, hey, we can dream, right? Or move to Canada…