On July 3, 2018 the Province announced the creation of an expert committee to study the potential for using a basic income approach in its efforts to reduce poverty and prepare for the emerging economy. The committee is requesting your input until March 15, 2019 either by email or by using the online feedback form.
The membership of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition consists of groups with no determined position on basic income, as well as both supporters of basic income, who highlight the value of the lack of stigma and conditionality, and opponents to basic income, who caution against the potential of providing a government subsidy to low-wage employers and the further dismantling of public services (housing, health, education, child care, etc.)
As such, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has no official position in support or in opposition to a basic income approach so instead made a submission focused on principles that must be at the foundation of any form of basic income in order for the intended outcome to be of benefit to those in poverty.
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition members agree that if a basic income were to be implemented:
- it must be grounded in a human rights foundation
- it should be embedded in an accountable, bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan that provides universal basic services as well as accessible and adequate incomes
- and it should not become a subsidy for low wage employers who need to provide living wages.
Regardless of whether the government decides to implement a basic income, the issues discussed in the submission are critical for them to consider in the provision of any form of social safety net for all British Columbians.