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The Basic Income Guarantee is a strategy for poverty reduction that is simpler and more effective than our existing social assistance systems. Quite simply, individuals whose incomes fall below a certain level get topped up to a level that would meet basic needs.
What we have done for far too long is simply not working. Even with all the social supports in place, the resulting income is often only enough to maintain a family in poverty. At their worst, existing policies and programs actually entrap people in poverty. This is why we need a new way. A basic income would work as a tax credit administered through the taxation system similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. If someone earns less or has less than the poverty line, they would simply be topped up to a point above the poverty line.
This week, MPs will vote on whether bill C-400 should be sent to committee, which seeks to establish a national housing strategy which I have been advocating for many years. By addressing the housing issue we can also address homelessness as well. Helping the homeless is not just about doing the morally right thing, it's also about dollars and cents.