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中英对照:全民基本收入的弊和利
Pros and cons of universal basic income

 
 
加拿大联邦政府的紧急救济金计划将于本月结束。在本周之前,特鲁多(Justin Trudeau)及其自由党议员暗示加拿大需要在Covid-19疫情后推行雄心勃勃的福利项目,并采用全民基本收入代替紧急救济金。
 
The Canadian Federal Government's Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program is supposedly coming to an end this month. Prior to this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal MP's hinted at the need for Canada to pursue an ambitious social agenda post-pandemic and suggested a universal basic income (UBI) to replace CERB.

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9月23日的联邦政府工作报告许诺要扩大对陷入困境企业的提供援助,并将工资补贴计划延长至明年夏季,但报告未提供任何细节。据称,延长工资补贴是渥太华誓言创造一百万个工作岗位的一部分,这将使就业率恢复到疫情前的水平。许多人认为,这是延长紧急救济金的的另一猫腻,以便联邦自由党在联邦大选触发时可以赢得那些领取救济金的人的选票。大约875万加拿大人申请过紧急救济金。
 
The Throne Speech on September 23 promised to expand supports for struggling businesses and to extend the wage subsidy program until next summer, with no details given at the time. It was claimed that the wage subsidy extension forms part of the government's vow to create a million jobs, which would restore employment to pre-pandemic levels. Many people feel that this is yet another ploy to extend the CERB to buy votes from those participating in the program for an upcoming election. About 8.75 million Canadians have applied for CERB.
 
人们所讨论的全民基本收入将取代或弥补低收入群体(如那些靠社会福利过日子的人或残障群体)的福利。为了实现这一计划,渥太华将取消一些现有的福利项目,例如残疾抵税,照顾老弱病残的抵税和“福利资助”。
 
This proposed universal basic income (UBI) will replace or top-up social supports for targeted low-income groups, like those on welfare or disability. To help finance the idea, a list of programs such as the disability tax credit, the caregiver tax credit and “social assistance” will be eliminated.

 
在加拿大,全民基本收入并不是什么新鲜事。在过去的50年中,至少有两个省曾经尝试这一做法。第一次发生在1970年。当时曼尼尼托巴省在多芬市和一些偏僻的地区进行全民基本收入试点。但该省的进步保守党上台后取消了试点。30年后,经济学家们对当年收集的数据和人口普查信息研究时,认为试点是成功的,并做出了“总体来说,基本收入对获益人有积极的影响”。
 
UBI is not something entirely new in Canada. There are at least two Canadian provincial cases over the last 50 years. The first one happened in Manitoba when piloted a project back in the 1970s in the city of Dauphin and other rural communities. the Progressive Conservatives axed the program when they came to power in the province. The program was considered a success 30 years later when an economist wrote a report using the collected data and census information. It was subsequently determined that “basic income has an overall positive impact on recipients.”
 
2016年,安大略省也开始尝试全民基本收入。这一切始于当时安省自由党省长韦恩。她委任前自由党省长戴维斯的省长办公室主任西格尔就全民基本收入进行研究。该研究着眼于“基本收入能否更好地支持拿低工资的人,并为人们挖掘自己的潜力提供所需的生活保障和机会。” 西格尔还研究了基本收入是否“可以为向低收入人群提供一种更简单,更经济有效的福利。”
 
In 2016, a similar scenario played out in the province of Ontario. It all started when then Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government appointed former Bill Davis chief of staff Hugh Segal to conduct a study on basic income. The study looked at “whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers and give people the security and opportunity they need to achieve their potential.” Segal’s study also looked at whether a basic income “can be a simpler and more economically effective way to provide income security support to people living on low incomes.”
 
西格尔在2016年的报告中指出,给那些需要救济的低收入者发放基本收入有助于减少贫困人数。那些如“安省工资补贴”和安大略残疾补助计划(ODSP)之类的社会救济只能缓解贫困症状。西格尔建议进行为期三年的发放基本收入试点,并在汉密尔顿,布兰特福德和布兰特,桑德弯和林赛这几个城镇随机挑选了4000人参与试验。
 
Segal’s 2016 report found that a basic income dispersed to low-income Ontarians who need it would help reduce poverty, whereas social support programs like “Ontario Works” and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) were only alleviating the symptoms of poverty. A three-year pilot project was recommended and four thousand participants were selected randomly for the program in Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay.

 
参与试点的单身人士每年最多可获得$ 16,989(如果有其他收入,50%的其他收入会从基本收入里扣除)。参与试点的夫妇最多可获得$ 24,027(如果有其他收入,50%的其他收入会从基本收入里扣除)。残疾人每年还可获得额外的$ 6,000。安省进行该试点项目的总投资约为5,000万元。
 
Single people in the pilot received $16,989 per year (less 50 percent of any earned income). Couples involved in the pilot received up to $24,027 (also less 50 percent of any earned income). People with disabilities were given an additional $6,000 per year. The province’s total investment in the pilot program amounted to some $50 million.
 
参加试点的人报告说,基本收入可以让他们买更好的食物,减少旷课,改善住房状况,甚至开办小企业,且在经济上更加独立。不过,福特上台后取消了试点,违背了他完成该试点项目的竞选承诺。福特政府声称是许多人自己退出了试点项目。
 
Participants reported spending their income on better food, staying in school, improving their housing situation and, in some cases, starting a small business. They also reported being more financially independent. Nevertheless, Premier Doug Ford pulled the plug on that experiment, breaking an election promise to maintain the program. The government claimed people were dropping out of the program.

 
现在的问题是,全民基本收入的成本是否会比目前的社会救济指出还要高?
 
So, would a universal basic income program cost more than current social programs?
 
现在看来,如果给低收入群体提供福利房,幼儿园和药品等救济外,再给他们发放基本收入,政府在救济方面的支出就会比现在高。因此,有必要砍掉某些救济项目,将省下来的钱用在发放基本收入上。
 
A universal basic income program implemented on top of current support programs in addition to investments in affordable housing, childcare and pharmacare (to name a few) would cost more. It is therefore necessary to “trim” out many of these programs and concentrate the money on the UBI instead.
 
在探讨全民基本收入的优缺点之前,我们需要首先看看加拿大紧急救济计划的利和弊,因为许多人认为这是全民基本收入的尝试。加拿大紧急救济计划在今年的疫情期间实施。我将在下一篇文章里分析这一计划。
 
Before we look at the Pros and Cons of the UBI, we need to examine the CERB program first as many consider it to be a sort of pilot UBI program disbursing monthly funds during the COVID-19 days of 2020. We will continue with this discussion next time.
 
   

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