In our earlier articles in this series, we talked about Universal Basic Income (UBI), Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, and Employment Insurance. The transition of CERB to EI was examined. Now, our discussions come full circle, back to the UBI. For the other publications, please click: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/670307
前安大略省(自由党)政府于2016年启动“基本收入”试点项目时，参加试点的单身每年可获得16,989元（如当年有其他收入，其中的50％会从基本收入中扣除）。参与试点的夫妇最多可获得$ 24,027元的收入（如当年有其他收入，其中的50％会从基本收入中扣除）。残疾人每年获得额外的$ 6,000元。
When the Ontario provincial (Liberal) government started a pilot project in 2016 on “Basic Income”, 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.
As a continuation program to follow the CERB and EI, many now expect the Federally sponsored UBI to come in at $2,000 every month or $24,000 a year before taxes. Whether this will replace some of the current support programs such as affordable housing, childcare and pharmacare (to name a few) is unclear at this moment. Many suspect that it will not replace all of them.
The Ontario Basic Income Pilot program did not last long enough to produce any statistics and visible effects of the program. Although done in the 1970's, the Manitoba pilot program found that workforce participation continued as usual with two exceptions: new mothers stayed at home longer to care for children, and young people who would have had to quit school to help support their families stayed in school longer. The pilot project also reported some 10 percent fewer hospital visits by participants. Advocates say a basic income can also contribute to substantial cost savings in the justice system and the prison pipeline, where many economically disadvantaged ends up. Opponents to the Basic Income program claim that the results obtained back in the 1970's are not applicable today since society has undergone significant changes over the last 40 years.
Why does the Federal Liberal government want to introduce the UBI now? The COVID 19 pandemic exposed the inequities of many of our systems, including the holes in our social safety net and women are taking some of the hardest hit due to those inadequacies. The UBI is a substitution of the CERB and EI once both are exhausted. When people are getting used to collecting the $500 a week staying home, many do not have the motivation to go to work.
Votes also have plenty to do with the urgency to implement the UBI. The generous EI payments mentioned in my last article will be finishing after another 26 weeks from now and UBI will be dangled in front of voters to secure a majority mandate for the Liberals as a condition for their implementation.
我琢磨了一下具体的数字。 发现每月发2,000元UBI的这个数字不是拍脑袋得出的。目前，安大略省的最低工资为每小时14.25元，每周工作40小时会有570元的收入。上班族上班花在公交上的钱大概为每天$ 6- $ 10元。也就是说，扣除交通费后落在那些上班族手中与待在家里白拿钱的差别仅为每周20元。为此，你会急着上班吗？我听到许多雇主的抱怨，在过去的几个月中，由于雇员拒绝回去上班，他们很难重新开业。他们宁愿拿CERB而呆在家中。
I was looking at some simple figures. UBI is going to be centred around the magical figure of $2,000 per month. Minimum wages in Ontario is currently pegged at $14.25 an hour and a 40 hour work week will bring in $570 a week. Travelling to work will cost a minimum of $6-$10 a day on public transit. Therefore, the difference is just another $20 a week to stay home. I heard many stories from employers lamenting the difficulty to re-open their businesses over the last few months when their employees refuse to come back to work – they would rather collect CERB and stay at home.
UBI is easier to deal with than other social supports from an administration standpoint. It requires little or no monitoring of recipients like Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), which have eligibility conditions. Fraser Institute has a different take - it argues that UBI would cost too much; and that any UBI program would have to mean the scaling back of other social programs.
Fraser Institute claimed that a basic income program would cost between $131 billion and $464 billion annually. The first number would apply if the feds extended a universal basic income to only seniors on Old Age Security. The second would apply if the feds provided a $2,000 benefit similar to CERB to all eligible Canadians. The numbers provided by the Parliamentary budget office are different. They estimate a guaranteed basic income for eligible Canadians would cost around $180 billion a year. Given their history of grossly under-estimating the deficit of this country over the last few years, who would you rather believe?
Canada has taken on too big a deficit at this moment. This debt will have to be repaid by our future generations. Many citizens feel that Canada is turning into a socialist welfare state and that Canada cannot afford the UBI. Canadians will likely have to make a decision in the next Federal Election now projected to happen within the next 6 to 8 months!
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