On p. 21, guaranteed income is discussed ….
We should consider the idea of a guaranteed minimum income. Tom Kent, the late social policy giant who was the architect behind the Pearson-era reforms that shaped modern Canada, left behind a plea to look at such an approach. Kent argued that we should design a system to ensure a reasonable level of income for every Canadian, building on the basic income guarantee we already provide to seniors. Support would be given in the form of regular payments to those with very low incomes, phased out with rising income reported via tax returns. He believed that the federal economies of scale would provide considerable efficiencies and reduce federal/ provincial overlap and friction as provinces would focus on services (Kent 2011). Kent’s blueprints find supporters and detractors among both conservatives and progressives. There are significant issues of cost to be considered, as well as how to provide income support without discouraging work. Perhaps we could begin by providing a guaranteed income to persons with disabilities, including persons who are able to work but cannot do so on a continuing full-time basis.
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