Ontario is releasing a report that summarizes the feedback gathered from thousands of people across the province on how to design and deliver a basic income pilot.
Basic income is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum income level. It is designed to help people meet their basic needs while supporting long-term social and economic prosperity and security for everyone.
More than 35,000 people and organizations shared their ideas on a range of topics including who should be eligible for a basic income, which communities to include, how a basic income should be delivered and how the pilot should be evaluated, during the consultations.
Consultation feedback supports a basic income pilot that includes Ontario residents aged 18-64, living in socially and economically diverse communities, in urban, rural and northern locations. The aim is to help people living on low incomes meet their basic needs and lift people out of poverty, with long-term improvements in health, employment and housing.
The consultations help build on the advice the government received from the Honourable Hugh Segal in his discussion paper. All input received through the consultation process is being considered as the government works to introduce a plan for Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot in spring 2017.
Between November 3, 2016 and January 31, 2017, about 1,200 participants attended 14 public consultations held in communities across Ontario. Over 34,000 people completed the online survey. Written submissions were received from more than 80 community organizations and groups with expertise and experience in fighting poverty.
The province is looking to create a pilot that would test how a basic income might benefit people living in a variety of low income situations, including those who are currently working.
Finland launched a guaranteed income pilot in January 2017 and the Netherlands and Kenya are also looking at developing pilot projects that test the idea of a basic or guaranteed annual income.
Y-Combinator, a California technology company, has announced it will be piloting a basic income project that is expected to run for five years.
“We are committed to taking a careful and evidence-based approach to the design and implementation of the basic income pilot”, says Dr. Helena Jaczek, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services. “The collaborative consultation process we have undertaken will help us to deliver an effective basic income pilot and explore solutions that support long-term economic prosperity and security for everyone in Ontario.”
The Minister Responsible for Poverty Reduction, Chris Ballard, believes that: “Every family in Ontario deserves the security and dignity of a life free from poverty. After hearing from people in person and through over 34,000 responses online, I’m energized to build on their feedback and introduce a basic income pilot that will test how to improve health, employment and housing outcomes for the people of Ontario.”