Canadian politicians have estimated that it would cost between
$40-$80 Billion per year
However they don’t make clear between the 14 federal and provincial
governments we spend over $165 Billion per year.
$165 Billion per year already? What is it spent on?
If each budget asked for 2% more each year
2019 – $168.3 Billion
2020 – $171.6 Billion + $150+ Billion in Covid-19 Relief
2021 – $175.1 Billion
2022 – $178.6 Billion
2023 – $182.1 Billion
2024 – $185.8 Billion
2025 – $189.5 Billion
Now I am not a professor, or mathematician. However, I can plainly see that our Community Social Services Sector needs some major overhaul. How much are we really spending on a system that is designed to disqualify you from other programs?
How much are we really spending on systems that were designed in the 60’s and don’t account for the new types of jobs that we have in today’s field. Precarious work, part-time work, contract work, remote work, commission based work, self-employment, and more.
To help you get started in exploring UBI, here are a few questions:
- Why are we still running programs with software designed in the 60’s?
- Why have we allowed our skilled labor force to diminish?
- Who is going to benefit if UBI does exist?
- If you lost all your income today, what programs would you qualify for?
- Can you pay your bills for the next 3 months if you fell ill today?
- Why is the working individual not allowed financial help in a broad program?
You’re not down the rabbit hole yet, however it does give a brief moment of pause. Are we truly at a tipping point? Covid-19 has struck us all in 2020 with an enormous wake up call about how secure our citizens really are. With failing businesses, closing shops, pending residential evictions, uncertain employment sectors, and all around fatigue at staring at the same walls for 3 months.
Can’t think how to get started? Well we first need to look at what is funded now, and can be shifted towards a UBI with little impact. This would be the Core-4 programs.
- Employment Insurance
- Regular Benefits
- Sick Benefits
- Home Care Benefits
- Paternity Benefits
All of these benefits are kind of maluable. With no reason for EI after a Basic Income except for the retraining and employment supports that a financial needs check doesn’t cover the program can be reduced down and Employment Canada can actually work on Unemployment instead of just paying people off.
- Canada Pension Plan
- Old Age Security / GAINS
- Canada Child Benefit
These programs could be incorporated or at least most of the funding could be redirected to UBI. The investments that the CPP has done can help to keep the UBI program funded. GAINS wouldn’t be needed and that funding could be diverted.
Canada Child Benefit is pretty much Universal already except for the income limits. It doesn’t use a claw back method and would be incorporated into the UBI to maximize less bureaucracy, and less administrative costs.
- Provincial Welfare and Disability Programs
These programs could be changed from a basic needs and shelter funding model to a social needs enhancement program. Such things as requesting funding for glasses, medications, medical supplies, employment training programs, mental health clinics and programs. There are many things that our local offices and their great social workers could be doing, but instead they are behind a desk watching John Doe’s income and claw back his assistance.
- Increase the GST back to 7%
Now I don’t know about you, but I would gladly give an extra 2% in sales taxes, if it meant I could have the security of knowing I don’t need to work 40 hours a week with 25 of them are going to rent. Even 2% of my entire income wouldn’t come close to my UBI benefit, yet each percentage point of GST is about $7 Billion/year so that itself would be 30% of the UBI Budget?
My math doesn’t add up. $165B over 37 Million Canadians is only $4500/year?
Yeah that’s correct. However, the government has accounted for many many variables such as births, deaths, incarcerations, income limits, etc. A simple calculator is never going to be a good tool towards figuring out the cost. It’s too much of a variable. However, it is well established that the savings would certainly outweigh the costs.