Sunday, 17 February 2008

An income for all Canadians

A guaranteed income program would lift more than 1.5 million people out of poverty
Feb 17, 2008 04:30 AM
Reginald Stackhouse

Some ideas are rejected in the public forum not because they have been tried and found wanting but because they have been found challenging and not tried.

One of them is a proposal that can really make poverty history in this country – no, not by increasing any or all of our existing social programs.

Just the opposite.

They will be replaced by a basic income policy, a.k.a. guaranteed annual income or negative income tax. It will provide all Canadians with an annual income, regardless of what other income they enjoy, earned or unearned.

Gone will be all forms of welfare under whatever euphemism they are disguised. Instead, monthly payments will be made to all of us.

Sounds crazy? Or just the opposite – too good to be true?

Reg Stackhouse, a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, is principal emeritus and research professor at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

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