Canadian Province, Ontario, to Experiment With Basic Universal Income
What is basic universal income, you ask? Some argue it’s probably the best idea ever considering unemployment rates and rising student debt.
The Canadian province of Ontario announced that it will be experimenting with this concept, which is the idea that every citizen gets a small, basic sum to live on no matter their employment status or, in some cases, age. While officials haven’t released any details on the project, including how many citizens will participate in the project and how much money they’ll get, they have stayed committed to their plans.
It might seem like handing out “free money” would cost the government a lot, but proponents of the idea say it will “save on welfare administration costs, reduce the poverty traps of traditional welfare states, be fair to people who have jobs, and give people more autonomy in general,” according to the Independent.
This idea might seem controversial or extreme to some Americans, but the concept is actually common throughout Europe.
This June, Switzerland will be the first country to vote on basic income. They’re proposing to guarantee every adult citizen a $2,500 check once a month and a $625 check for children. Of course, like any radical idea, the people are split and conservatives argue it will make people lazy. Finland also plans to experiment with basic income, offering 100,000 people up to 1,000 euros a month. Britain also believes they have come up with an idea for basic income that will still give people incentive to work. The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts suggests giving people between the ages of 25 and 65 about 308 pounds per month.
Ontario believes the idea of basic income will allow Canadians to “realize their full potential.”
“As Ontario’s economy grows, the government remains committed to leaving no one behind. Maintaining an effective social safety net is one part of the government’s broader efforts to reduce poverty and ensure inclusion in communities and the economy,” a statement read.