(Ottawa, February 26, 2016) Senator Art Eggleton is calling on the federal government to launch a basic income pilot project. Senator Eggleton tabled the following motion in the Senate:
That the Senate encourage the federal government, after appropriate consultations, to sponsor along with one or more of the provinces/territories a pilot project, and any complementary studies, to evaluate the cost and impact of implementing a national basic income program based on a negative income tax for the purpose of helping Canadians to escape poverty.
According to a 2013 poll done by Environics the basic income is supported by a majority of Canadians and across the political spectrum including many federal, provincial and municipal leaders.
“The time is right to test a basic income” said Senator Eggleton. “How we have dealt with poverty has failed. Instead of lifting people out of poverty our current programs entrap them. We need to test a different approach.”
A basic income, through a negative income tax, would be administered through the tax system where if someone’s income is less than the poverty line they would simply be topped up over the poverty line.
“Poverty costs us all. It expands health-care costs, policing burdens, and depresses the economy” said Senator Eggleton. “If proven effective a basic income would not only end poverty but we would spend smarter, more efficiently and effectively.”