Along the way, we have brought mostly subjects on Basic Income about the cost and how we can save money for the government while helping millions more out of poverty. However, we rarely think of the implications of what could have been avoided already.
A Universal Basic Income is a means to helping families who struggle to succeed. Many families over the years are simply torn from the stress of not being financially secure. This can lead to domestic abuse, and eventually families are torn apart. At least two studies by Jan 2018 show that this could lead to divorce. Data released by financial firm TD Ameritrade found that 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.
With the prospect of insurmountable debt on the horizon due to Covid-19 we need to concern ourselves with how financial security is a national issue and not just a capitalist one. With ongoing political fighting among funding and parliamentary participation time, we need to consider the families and children in this scenario and how we can stop the gravy train with one big expense vs 6-10 new programs far exceeding the benefit we can do.
To stop domestic violence we need to ELIMINATE a catalyst. That catalyst is the insecurity towards shelter, food, and necessities. We can take all of the “experts” advice on keeping “necessary” programs that are just performing the same tasks of “Basic Needs” support or “Cash Transfers” or we can think of our families and loved ones and a possibility of expansion into national pharmacare, healthcare, emergency support, and economic stimulation.
The most recent data demonstrates that the rate of child and family poverty continues to be unacceptably high, with 1,356,980 children living in families with after-tax income below the Census Family Low Income Measure, After Tax. This represents 18.6% of children under 18 experiencing the corrosive effects of poverty. Of particular concern is the rate of preschool children under six which is higher at 19.6%, representing 462,360 children https://campaign2000.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/campaign-2000-report-setting-the-stage-for-a-poverty-free-canada-january-14-2020.pdf
Not all targeted support programs would be at risk. Some are completely unique. Supports such as Domestic Violence, Indigenous, Shelters, etc. would still exist, although their demand would lower creating better ability to support. Those that are just “Basic Needs” support or employment supports can be united into a federal program that encourages employment.
As long as we continue to allow Provincial and Municipal governments to run our Basic Needs allowances, Unemployment benefits, etc we will continue to be bombarded with conditions, reviews of eligibility, and more that diminish the thought of entrepreneurship.
We need to solidify our Families and Children with a movement. Something that is going to change every aspect of life, lowering racism and increasing the collective health of low income communities can change how we engage each other in a positive way.
It could help to eliminate the need for Payday loans for families. These can trap them into an ongoing cycle of increased cost and interest. By making the UBI an “Essential Income” and regulating it to be prohibited as a means of income to loan companies we can eliminate most poverty in this cycle in one sweep instead of every jurisdiction across Canada.
Each program we create incurs extra cost. By creating one program in which you can receive a wide-variety of supports from the federal government you can eliminate the possibility of fraud, especially those in seniors. Eliminating extra programs and consolidating them gives less opportunities for fraudsters to initiate contact about signing up.
How many families have lost children to social services over the last 20 years due to financial hardship. The courts are expensive and overrun with these examples. Most never pay any cost at all, costing the taxpayers money because our Federal Government couldn’t guarantee financial stability for a family in the past.
How many children have incurred abusive foster homes, or indigenous communities suffer with lack of drinking water, because our Federal Government couldn’t give a “Basic Income” in which they could qualify for. These could have changed the conditions on our Reserves decades ago.
Canada was instrumental when it came out with Universal Healthcare, Publicly Funded Education, Unemployment Insurance, Pension Plans, but we still haven’t tried a Unified approach. Something to cut the Red Tape on families and give them support that grows them and the economy instead of clawing back.
How much administration cost has the government spent on clawing back assistance rates. In 20 years we can only estimate it to be in the Billions of billable hours. How many experts do we hire to investigate, audit, and criticize our programs instead of Universalizing them and creating growth.
Families in Canada have been through many movements over the years. Activism is one of our rights and we help to create a more inclusive society each day, yet financial security is overlooked for pushing employment reform.
How many of our families could have stayed together for an increased amount of years at home while participating in post-secondary education instead of low-to-minimum wage jobs? Could we have perfected the hoverboard or hovercar by now?
How many innovations were squandered, Severance pay settlements cost us, Government fiascos with overbudget spending, fraud by stealing program funding, local government time wasted, and wasted potential from the loss of life we could have prevented?
Instead, we have to wait for the government to resume, for them to answer each other with canned responses designed not to answer the question, perhaps to wait another year for a 2% increase while our government’s cost climbs well above that.
The next time your family suffers from a national tax hike, ask your local MP if that cost could have been avoided by a Basic Income and the effects it has towards a positive future for you and I.