Ahh Summer… How we’ve missed you.
As the summer approaches the news becomes a little clearer, trickling in, slowly and with alarm bells. Communities are reopening, parks are filling up, businesses restarting, doctors appointments resuming, and vacationers planning.
A new AngusReid poll has been released showing an average 61% of Canadians in favor of a Basic Income between $10,000 to $30,000 per year.
Our 7-day poll on Twitter is at day 5 right now. Currently we are at 87% in favor of a UBI with no one uncertain yet. So far we have collected 80 votes, could you help us add one quickly?
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Finding the balance of Work and Home again
Work from home has been a new theme to some families. Finding the balance between working vs your kids and pets can be distracting. To some it may come permanent, increasing home costs that may not be covered by the employer.
After the outbreaks and fear of LTC facilities having occurrences we may see a decline of LTC homecare admittance with more families holding on to their loved ones closer to home.
Billions and Billions spent, but I never got a dollar extra
Government spending is at an all time high. With some municipalities already predicting double digit property tax hikes to make up for the losses from the shutdowns. Tax hikes are inevitable, but will these hikes be due to the governments “quick” spending, resulting in higher living costs for decades to come after Covid?
The monetary support that our Government has issued was decided quickly. It was designed to be temporary. The unfortunate part is, all programs that are temporary and to self-end, create payment gaps, and claw backs to recover the funds if possible.
The neverending effect this is going to have on our economy is uncertain. What is certain, is that because of the targeted approach to this, a lot of people are going to suffer and fall through the cracks. Some already have.
The constant application process to get help, the hours of waiting on the phone, the recent news that the CRA doesn’t even have an official apology policy makes everyone wonder if this is really the right approach. Have we created so many new programs in the name of “targeting, accountability, progress, departmentalized, and classified”? The government has grown with the population but to the point that we’ve bloated the solution.
61% Overall supported a Basic Income between $10,000 – $30,000 per year. Surprisingly, by age factor the most support is in females between 18-34 with 67% in favor. The strongest opposition is males between 35-54 with 40%.
If we had rounded it down to around $26,000 per year ($500/wk) it could be widely supported in a referendum. The question is, will the government give us one to decide vs not implementing it.
School Boards – Social Distancing, Online, Home & After School
School boards and officials are recommending a mixture of Social Distancing, Smaller class sizes, and a mixture of Online learning. This will mean a possible end to a regular school year for parents, and more of a presence at home required.
The uncertainty if schools will still endorse after school activities after the pandemic is not a national coverage story yet, but it will by September. We are fully recommending that parents start to look into these programs that they are accustomed too and stay in touch with their details towards the procedures they are taking this year. Costs may go up for these programs as they incur extra expenses of Hand Sanitizing stations, masks, PPE, and more.
Currently the government has no plans about these extra costs and if parents will have to pay them, the program is fully funded, or if the school may absorb these costs at the taxpayers expense. This is yet another example of how UBI can help, as situations like this, it can be a simple “extra credit” to the program nationally instead of splitting it up into thousands of programs. This is where that movie example of a “you don’t think we spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat” works out well.
Why am i STILL waiting for help
The same analogy goes for how we distribute the funding in an emergency AND on an ongoing basis. Every level down incurs expenses. Let’s shorten the dispersion field for more accountability and faster spending equaling quicker responses. Imagine sending out $1 Billion but it takes 8 weeks to get there. The first 3 are at federal levels, next 3 are at provincial levels, the next 2 are at local.
Those 8 weeks are critical to the victims, but it always takes time to budget the money, create the program, fund the program, legislation for the program, collecting applications for the program, collecting data on how many, re-budgeting, more legislation, then sending out the payments.
Can we imagine targeted responses not to the field, not to the experts, but to the very people who need it right down to their job description / primary life activity as in the data we already have at the CRA. Right down to our Postal Codes.
This can make Basic Income not only a tool for steady reliable life guarantees, but can be used for the quick response of a wild-fire, earthquake, flood, hurricanes (or tail effects) and other natural disasters. Financial disasters like Covid could have had quick implementation within DAYS not months.
You can still have the other programs, perhaps they are the ones who “pay the bill” for the extra support later, but the BI program is essential as it is the only one sending out the funds, quickening the response time to the recipient and keeping it cost-effective.
The solution is in how you design the Basic Income in the first place. It needs to be designed in a way that allows other targeted programs to issue payments to its targeted recipients without the need to collect applications and Identification checks.
You do this by having BI require Quarterly reports by the citizen. Think of it as a Mini-Income Tax report. However, your not doing monthly or bi-weekly, this gives you quarterly stability, it also decreases the need for 10’s of call centers for CRA to process bi-weekly reports and answer questions.
We can space out the reports in a way like CERB did. Months of date of birth can do provinces of reports on a day of the week. This way, citizens have reliable services.
My suggestion for the CRA would be, develop a better phone system. It needs to be more interactive and narrow the purpose of the call better before it gets to the call center. It would be amazing if that technology exists, wait it does.
Enhancing the online services to actually allow taxpayers to issue their own “corrections” to the reports after filed can actually help save taxpayers months of ineligibility or facing hours on the phone for a minor error.
For the taxpayer, it creates a guarantee of not risking loosing BI for a whole year between July-June. The government wins by having quite precise quarterly results, this can help Statistics Canada and actually show national growth much faster than a census. This can help when a sector is suffering faster too.
The program should be considered a way to prevent further national fiascos with experimental programs and over-budget disasters. If we can control the sheer amount of administration and the incessant collection of personal data every time we need help, it can help prevent fraud, obliterate poverty, expedite help, and bring national debt down as well.