Letter to the Editor – Universal Basic Income


Dear Editor,

Re: Why a universal basic income won’t work, Oct. 26 issue

I read with both interest and dismay your op-ed Why a universal basic income won’t work, Oct. 26, in which you wrote that there are two ways of creating such a system. Unfortunately, you neglected to mention the third way, the one that is most beneficial to both the recipient and the community.  

A workable universal basic income is achieved by a process of “topping up” the incomes of those whose existing incomes fall below a predetermined level.  For example, if the basic income needed to meet the cost of living is thought to be $2,500 per month and family B brings in $1,800 (yes, there are hard-working families like this), they would receive a top-up of $700 while family C, making $2,200, would receive $300.  

Further, the additional money received by each family would mostly be spent on goods and services previously impossible for them to afford, thus making its way back into communities and supporting the economy. Trials of such a system have shown that it costs relatively little and pays off in healthier families and a healthier economy.

It is time to retire the attitude that says that anyone who wants to work can find an adequately paying job. In today’s world, this is simply untrue, and further, it is demeaning to the considerable number of Ontarians who live with both visible and invisible handicaps, especially as the help they receive leaves them living well below the poverty line. They face choices between paying for things such as rent, food or medication regularly.

After many years away, I am newly returned to Kemptville and enjoy the North Grenville Times very much. Thank you for helping put it together.


Karen Dukes 


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