In late 2016, the Ontario government announced its intention to carry out a basic income pilot project in communities across the province. In response, a range of authors and experts have examined how variations of the model could benefit the one in eight Canadians who live in poverty.
Metcalf Fellow John Stapleton’s latest report contributes to the current discussion by illustrating how a basic income would work in real-life situations. A Basic Income for Canadians: What would change? compares the actual budgets of four people receiving income security benefits — an elderly veteran, a senior living in poverty, a single mother, and a member of the working poor — revealing how each person is served by our current income security system, and how a basic income could alter their circumstances.
The results are illuminating, and provide valuable insights into the implications of introducing this new social policy approach. They may surprise even the most seasoned income security experts.