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Critical Reflection

Based on the material provided and other exploration peer reviewed sources, you will share any new insights, questions and concerns they may have about a Universal Basic Income (UBI) that they may not have previously considered. Your opinions and questions should be informed by assigned readings and other exploration of the topic and a minimum of 6 citations should be included.Expanding the Canada Workers Benefit to Design a Guaranteed
Basic Income

Kourtney Koebel, Dionne Pohler

Canadian Public Policy, Volume 45, Number 3, September / septembre 2019,
pp. 283-309 (Article)

Published by University of Toronto Press

For additional information about this article

[ Access provided at 10 May 2020 18:22 GMT from University of Winnipeg Library ]

doi:10.3138/cpp.2019-016 © Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de politiques, September / septembre 2019

Expanding the Canada Workers
Benefi t to Design a Guaranteed

Basic Income

Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Les auteures conçoivent pour les Canadiens en âge de travailler un programme hybride de revenu de base
garanti et de subvention salariale qui résout les préoccupations relatives au fédéralisme et aux facteurs
de désincitation au travail associés au revenu de base traditionnel grâce à l’extension de l’allocation cana-
dienne pour les travailleurs. Établissant le coût de leur programme, elles proposent un modèle de fi nance-
ment sans incidence sur les recettes, faisant appel à la consolidation des programmes d’aide sociale et à
la suppression de plusieurs crédits d’impôt. Elles simulent les effets de redistribution de leur programme
et de leur modèle de fi nancement sur le revenu disponible des ménages, selon les déciles et les types de
famille, et en analysent l’incidence sur les taux effectifs marginaux d’imposition et les interactions avec
les programmes pour personnes handicapées. Le programme des auteures réduit sensiblement les taux
de pauvreté chez les familles biparentales et chez les célibataires ou les couples sans enfants, en âge de

Mots clés : allocation canadienne pour les travailleurs, incitatifs au travail, pauvreté, revenu de base ga-
ranti, subvention salariale

We design a hybrid guaranteed basic income and earnings subsidy for working-age Canadians that ad-
dresses federalism and work disincentive concerns associated with a conventional basic income by expand-
ing the Canada Workers Benefi t. We cost our program and propose a revenue-neutral fi nancing model by
consolidating provincial SA programs and eliminating several federal and provincial tax credits. We simu-
late the distributional effects of our program and fi nancing on household disposable income across deciles
and family types and discuss its impact on marginal effective tax rates and interaction with disability
programs. Our program substantially reduces poverty rates among two-parent families and working-age
singles and couples without children.

Keywords: guaranteed basic income, work incentives, earnings subsidy, Canada Workers Benefi t,

A guaranteed basic income (GBI) is receiving renewed
interest as a policy option among Canadian acad

Armine Yalnizian
Simon Black

Both progressives, both are sceptical

Universal Basic Income: important questions
What level?
Supplement or substitute?
Universal vs. targeted
What problem are we trying to solve?

Socialist case
Capitalism forces us to enter labour market
UBI can delink work and income
Give workers freedom to say ‘no’ to bad jobs
Expands bargaining power
Change the balance of power
Experiment with non-capitalist ways of living

Feminist Case:
Value unpaid care work
Greater economic freedom for women
Resource to exit abusive relationships

Ecological case:
Enhances health and well-being
Provides economic security as we move toward necessary ‘de-growth”
Creates more free time, enabling more ecologically friendly lifestyles

Right Wing Case
Friedman, Murray, Hayek – modern conservative movement
Freedom from intrusive state
Abolish the social welfare state and redistributive policies
Meet our basic needs through the market

Beware of the risks and perils
What is at stake?

What Problem are we trying to solve?
Bureaucratic inefficiency and/or poor treatment of ‘clients’?
Public attitudes: poor bashing narratives?
The welfare wall?
Access to education training?

The big questions?
Armine Yalnizian, Economist
What is it?
In the eye of the beholder
Saying different things
Focus is on redistribution – also need to talk about predistribution (jobs)
What problem does it solve?
Poverty? red tape? dignity? precarious work?
Not everyone agrees
How much does it cost?
More than what we spend now? less? Will we end up with more or less?
Right wing versions and left wing versions

Ask these questions
How much?
Who gets it?
Who is going to pay for it.

Canadian pilot projects: Poverty elimination?
Mincome (1974-78)
4 pilots
60% of poverty line – not about eliminating poverty

Ontario BI pilot
75% of poverty line (less than CERB)

Other proposals in 1980s
Macdonald Commission – didn’t get off the ground
Newfoundland proposal

Each of these recommended income levels that would not have eliminated poverty
Though we don’t call it a “BI” the CCB provides similar amount to what the Newfoundland proposal recommended for children
Seniors receive more than the proposed levels.

Working age population is the focus
Who are we talking about?
Are we really talking about improving income supports for the working age who are falling through the cracks?
Is this really about welfare reform, and if so, is it really a UBI?
Is it really about raising the floor?
And can we do that with other reforms?
What about conditions? What are the rules?
It is naïve to think we can do this without rules and that we will all agree on the rules
What about decent work and decent paWATCH PLEASE

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