Guaranteed basic income proposed. – Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Regional | by Claire McCormack

Queens Park looks at a pilot project, which is supported by the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force.

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force supports the Ontario Government's pilot project of a basic income guarantee, but says the province needs to realize poverty isn't just an urban issue.

Task Force Co-ordinator Jill Umbach says the idea is to provide a government subsidy for low income people that would go right to them in a similar way to the Ontario Seniors' Benefit Program.

Umbach says the plan is to have income information go to the government at tax time and if someone qualifies, the rest would be automatic.

The Task Force likes the idea of enabling low income people to receive the money they need in a more dignified way without being micro-managed by the province and regularly required provide documentation about how much money they've made.

The program began to take shape in June 2016 with a discussion paper from the province called Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income. Consultation sessions followed and the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force attended a number of them.

Umbach says they made sure the rural perspective was clearly conveyed to others during the consultations which all took place in urban centres.

She notes rural issues cannot be ignored, and believes more robust economic development and local investment will reverse the rise of precarious work, loss of benefits to families and out-migration of young people and families from the community.

Umbach says the pilot would be rolled out in just a few communities within the province for a span of three years. It would replace Ontario Works subsidies in those instances.

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Guaranteed basic income proposed. - Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre

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