$7 Billion is a lot of money. It’s enough to buy an Island, it’s enough to buy a Multi-International Corporation, and it’s also the difference in Basic Income spending for 19,886,000 households based on Inflation for just 2 years.
Canadians are finding it harder every single month to survive, while the Canadian government spends Hundreds of Billions of Dollars every year fighting Poverty. If you think my estimation is wrong or overblown out of proportion, keep in mind that we spent $165+ Billion in 2017 on Social Assistance programs combined across the country. We just never add up all the budgets.
I am in no way a fan of Universal Basic Income for Canada and there are two main objections. One is overcrowding homes for surplus income, endangering the lives of others in shared buildings, but also that it would most certainly be classified as taxable income, thus self-eliminating the purpose of the Personal Income Tax Credits (when everyone is above them they don’t matter), but would cause some serious harm to the economy by giving no strings attached excuse to leave their jobs, perhaps for better opportunities, but we don’t want that as a society, we want something that will encourage jobs, prevent turnover and job losses, AND help us.
In the last few weeks since our Parliamentarians have resumed office after the latest election, we have seen Supply Chain Issues, National Protests, Federal and Provincial Programs take hundreds of thousands Canadians to the cleaners in clawbacks off from CERB, provincial benefits, federal benefits and alike. All while we all wonder was there really a better solution to Inflation?
I’ve been advocating for nearly 2 years now for a Basic Income since I stumbled upon the PBO report back in April 2020, it caught my eye because not only did it have 3 different Scenarios that helped between 8 and 19 million Canadians, but that the program is tied to the poverty line and increases with inflation instead of when the current in power party says so.
What is stopping people from quitting if it goes up every year?
Basic Income would still operate on the premise of your income earned the previous year. It also adjusts to inflation but only for the Basic Income amount, not your entire income.That means, people are not going to quit in droves when a Basic Income comes, that’s like trading in your 2022 SUV for a 1969 Dodge Dart GT with manual steering and an 8-track radio. Kids go ask your parents what that is, we’re on track for knowledge on BI here.
People are simply not going to give up $25k or more for $19k. That doesn’t make sense. A family is not going to give up $50k for $27k. Basic Income is about helping on top of your inflation from last year, not what’s going on now and penalize you for it immediately. While stimulating the economy with successful rent payments, grocery store visits, healthier citizens, and a lot less crime. It creates small businesses, not crushing SB owners who barely pay their own mortgage month to month.
How would the Basic Income rates change?
So in my endeavours, last week I contacted the Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux on Twitter by private message. I asked him about the LIM (Low Income Measure aka Poverty Line) amounts for 2022 and how they changed since the last reports. Although he was not able to give them to me himself, he was able to put me in touch with Mr. Ammar who is the Senior Analyst who made all 3 reports that I reference. So kudo’s to Mr. Giroux, because Mr. Ammar was more than cooperative in getting the 2022 LIM amounts (SPSDM v28.0 for the calendar year 2022) and what they would represent for Basic Income (75% of LIM) compared to the old reports.
Those amounts changed from $18,329 in 2020-21 to $19,043 in 2022-23 for Individuals, and from $25,992 in 2020-21 to $26,931 in 2022-23 for Households. This represents a 3.8% and 3.6% increase respectfully. This increase isn’t just to the base amount, but that to everyone scaling through the means tested program. Meaning when you earn more, that inflation adjustment still adjusts, it’s like the icing on the cake to a program that actually adjusts when people have lower income collectively. When the economy hurts the previous year, the government would be required to spend more to fight the inflation incurred to make a profit elsewhere, this enforces investment into infrastructure and jobs preventing BI from becoming out of control.
With the new rates given to me by email today, I have already done 2 charts to reflect the change in Basic Income benefit rates would be. For Individuals it represents a 3.8% increase since 2020, and in retrospect how many programs do you know went up by nearly 4% in the last two years? I think I can count them on one hand, maybe two, but not three, we don’t have three on Earth. so why is politics so unearthly? It’s like an out-of-tune repeating record of partisan bull on repeat since 2020. Aren’t you tired with it as well? We can tout bank corrections, interest rates, investment programs, pensions, infrastructure projects, but they don’t help 19 million people, and nothing else will.
Housing will just get more expensive…
We can appeal to the government do more about housing and we should, however we shouldn’t ignore the opportunity of several generations in stopping the consistent losses that these landlords are incurring that are driving up the prices. It’s not rocket science folks, if someone who lives in the home before you doesn’t pay their rent, you pay for it later. There is no magical creature granting wishes to the landlord to top up the bank account, and if you expect them to continue renting out, there is going to be a cost. Create all the programs you want, it’s still going to happen. So how do we solve this?
There is no real solid solution, the market is far too complicated for that. However a Basic Income does give Millions of Canadians the opportunity to continue living where they are now, or move to a better situation. However, the latter would be much more prevalent. As Canadians keep the same home, possibly for years, the market is going to have a gradual and consistent pattern of Canadians not being in demand for housing anymore, but that of Quality of Life. This is going to force landlords to take a better approach in how they advertise amenities too. Such things as Accessibility would be severely improved as landlords would no longer be able to screen Disabled individuals and families simply by the source of income. Giving more chance to live in higher income buildings and dwellings will increase the push to have greater accessibility overall. We are a society where one thing is constant among everyone, we all age and need care.
What can the Average Canadian even do to push this along?
Head on over to our Resources page and Sign the Petitions we have there. One is for Parliament, the others are Organizations or Citizens who have started theirs towards the cause. If you want to create your own Petition for the Government of Canada you can find more info here.
You can also Sign our Petition for asking an MP to request a new report on Scenario’s 1 through 3. Not just 1. This is how we learn about the new costs of inflation on the program, how many more Canadians who have lower income would qualify, and what the net difference for higher incomes would be, because the last report said the highest cost would have been around $6,000 for higher incomes but that was before they were even included. I’d like to see those numbers wouldn’t you? It is 11.8 million households.
If you are wondering about the Disabled community, nothing else would have changed in regards to the $6,000 non-means testing portion so all of their income would have went up. If you don’t know what i’m talking about it’s ok, I explain here. It’s hard to imagine that we just let a program that had to potential to cut poverty in half in one year using the smallest scenario go, yet right now, we could have had a 3% adjustment to inflation and some households would have seen Thousands and Thousands of dollars of non-taxable income helping their families on a monthly basis.
We need more attention on this, the implications to leaving Social Assistance Recipients at even a farther amount from this, and how it could change the lives of every day working Canadians who can’t even afford a home. Basic Income isn’t the answer to everything, but it sure solves alot of the issues that we just pay experts to create new programs for on a daily basis.
The average minimum wage individual earner in Ontario would have received up to an extra $1,348 per month on top of their job. Tax free. For a household with two minimum wage jobs, it’s $1,606 per month. That’s a 38 to 71% increase in income. That’s something to examine while we find solutions against inflation.Joseph Vander Meer – Author – ForTheFuture.ca
It’s time for a change, it’s time for a new report, one that includes the other 11.8 million Canadians above $35,000 a year. Because they are the backbone of this country who desperately need assistance that isn’t tied to political will. Next up on my mission list: Comparing Social Assistance Rates across the country to the new adjusted LIM rates and Basic Income differences, and comparing hourly rates such as $20/hr, $30/hr, $40/hr, $50/hr, Oh yes folks, in Scenario 3 we actually go higher. Much higher eh.
If you sincerely enjoy my work, please know I am completely 100% non-funded by any organization, I am not politically affiliated with any party, I do not work the government, and I do this all at home, on my laptop, enjoying the thought that maybe one day, I might save someone’s life. That’s worth it. If you wish to contribute you can click on the Support the Developer link here or on the bottom of any page. Thank you.