As each day goes by, Canada is looking more and more attractive (I’m talking about the country, not the Prime Minister).
Justin Trudeau is leading Canada with his Liberal and loving policies, first by welcoming refugees, then welcoming doomed Americans, and now the Canadian province of Ontario is rolling out basic income so no one is left behind.
The pilot project aims to provide every single citizen a minimum basic income of $1,320 (£773) a month.
The concept of universal basic income is that all individuals received a supplementary amount of money, regardless of what they are already earning.
Ontario will not however follow this model, and instead Hugh Segal, the former Conservative senator, suggested giving everyone a guaranteed minimum income of $22.o00 (£13,000).
The money will be sourced from the provincial government, not Canada’s federal government, and will top up participants’ total incomes to above the poverty line.
In terms of eligibility, people will simply need citizenship as there are no work requirements so Canadians will be eligible whether working or not.
Segal wants to ‘give people a floor beneath which they’re not allowed to fall’.
The key reasons for using a universal basic income is because it removes the stigma created by means-tested welfare. Those who are out of work are treated in the same way as those who are working.
In accordance with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, if people have a basic income to rely on, they can then have the opportunity to focus on enterprise and creativity.
In the UK we famously have layers upon layers of bureaucracy, and there is an argument that the abolition of that with the implementation of a flat-rate benefit would save taxpayer money.
There is the other side of the debate which argues handing out ‘free money’ will lead to a pandemic of laziness and lack of passion for work.
The point is, Segal said we don’t know what will happen, that is why they are trialing it in Spring 2017.
If the government nudges citizens to have a strong work ethic as well as supplementing them with a basic income, it looks to be a great move for Canada.
Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to check out some one-way flights.