Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

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John Feldsted
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by John Feldsted »

Caucus is calling on government to adopt idea for consideration in November

Joan Bryden
The Canadian Press
CBC News
Sep 12, 2020

A guaranteed basic income for all Canadians has emerged as the top policy choice of Liberal MPs, just as the Trudeau government is crafting its plan to help people weather the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the ravaged economy.

The Liberal caucus is calling on the government to adopt the idea in a priority policy resolution for consideration at the party's upcoming national convention.

And MPs consider it so important that they've designated it their top resolution, guaranteeing that it will go directly to the Nov. 12-15 convention for debate and a vote.

It is among more than 50 priority resolutions from the governing party's provincial and territorial organizations and its various commissions that will be the subject, starting Saturday, of a two-week online discussion among registered Liberals.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/guaran ... -1.5721943
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The concept of a guaranteed minimum income is hardly new. It is an NDP dream, which is why the liberal caucus is so in favour. It almost guarantees passage of the Throne Speech.

Combine this with the recent announcement of a revamp of the EI program to extend COVID wage loss benefits, and liberal tactics become even more evident. Buy votes with government borrowing.

The idea of a guaranteed minimum income has never been so viable. Correctly implemented, it could solve many of our economic and social problems.

I have not gone socialist. Please hear me out.

We have dozens and dozens of federal and provincial programs created to help out the less fortunate. They are not coordinated or rational. Some help while others do not. What they all share is high administration costs.

A guaranteed income would erase the need for many of these piecemeal programs. With a guaranteed income in place, the need for EI disappears. People who suddenly find themselves unemployed have a fallback, which will guarantee the basics. The list of programs that become redundant and unnecessary is long.

The guaranteed income opponents will be the public sector unions. They will lose thousands of jobs with programs no longer delivered. The welfare industry would shrink to a fraction of what it is today. Most social work positions would disappear.

Governments would have to increase personal income tax exceptions to match the guaranteed income, which would benefit everyone. Let's imagine that the income level is $25,000 or $2,083 per month. That is barely adequate for a single person but sufficient for a pair.

The next income strata, from $25,001 to $50,000 would have a 15% flat tax applied to 50% of earnings. From $50,001 to $75,000 a 15% tax would apply to 75% of earnings.

A universal minimum wage of $12 per hour would apply. Onerous EI premiums would disappear, relieving employers of a sizeable employer tax burden. CPP premiums would continue, but the employer share would decrease over a decade to nil. People would have the option of monthly contributions to a non-taxable retirement savings plan of their choosing.

The need for daycare spaces would sharply diminish. The minimum income is more than the net income of many working spouses. That opens the door to families deciding on a stay-home parent or a parent with part-time work to accommodate children without the costs of daycare.

As with other plans, a minimum income scheme is only viable if it frees people from tax slavery. Since the program would erase opportunities for governments to announce plans to give us a tiny fraction of the money they confiscate from us as a gregarious benefit, I doubt that the Liberal caucus has thought this through and is serious.

We don't need more smoke and mirrors to distract us from the failings of our governments. The liberal minimum income strategy appears to be "sunny days, sunny ways" version 2.0. We have not begun to face the debts and interest load of version 1 and do not need more of the same. Grand assurances of great things to come are an inadequate remedy for the pain most Canadians are facing.

JAMESKROMM
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:56 pm

Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by JAMESKROMM »

Very intriguing concept John, but this needs to be fully costed, before I can jump on the bandwagon.
Eliminating EI/CPP premiums for instance, is a huge number. The majority of people are employed, and have the ability to fund these two programs.
Certainly, the elimination of a multitude of social programs, and their huge admin costs, is a plus in your concept.
Significantly smaller government = :)
It troubles me greatly though, to remove the incentive to work, for many people.

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Free Markets
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Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by Free Markets »

I suggest you read the Fraser Institute study that was released today.
https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/d ... elease.pdf

John Feldsted
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by John Feldsted »

I am aware of the cost projections by the Frazer Institute. That does not take into account eliminating EI as unneeded. The administration costs of that program is massive.

I do not favour the elimination of CPP, I suggested the employer funding should be diminished over time.

Correctly applied a minimum income would replace hundreds of existing welfare programs.

As far as a disincentive to working, what do you think all the welfare programs out there now do? The difference is that we would not have some social workers insisting that a big screen TV and cable access are a necessity of life.

What most people miss is that under a minimum income scheme, politicians could not continue to hand out goodies to the disadvantaged and will never get the political support needed. It is a conversation piece that will not be put into action. The NDP wants it as an add-on to existing welfare programs which is not affordable or rational.

What we will see is forest-fire smoke from a single match and not much more. The smoke will disssapate until the necxt election.

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Free Markets
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Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by Free Markets »

You have to show how your proposal could possibly be financed. The gross cost of your UBI according to the Fraser Institute is $465 billion. EI is self financing so at best a couple of billion in administration saved there. Another $15 billion in OAS/GIS. Targeted welfare programs like the Child Benefit might be $10 billion. The Health Transfer can't be touched and it is doubtful that a big chunk of the Social Transfer can be held back because of legal and provincial reasons, but say it is cancelled for another $15 billion. The feds can't tell the provinces what to do and anyway, all savings there accrue to the provinces.

Not even a quarter of the way there and you also propose cutting oncome tax rates. You kneed more specifics.

Only four provinces have minimum wages less than $12/hour and are within dimes of that amount. Are you proposing the feds tell the provinces what minimum wages to have?

JAMESKROMM
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:56 pm

Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by JAMESKROMM »

Further to the disincentive to working issue, of course current social programs continue to exacerbate the work ethic, but the GAI proposal looks to vastly expand on the problem.
Those who are currently funded by the menagerie of social programs are a wash. Pay me with the left hand, pay me with the right!
No, a GAI is just a recipe for financial disaster, and the numbers just don’t add up.

99pct
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Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by 99pct »

Unemployment insurance is a Provincial responsibility. The Liberals are sneaking in their control of the entire Canadian economy which means ultimate dictatorship control of every second of our lives and Provincial Governments are standing back and letting it happen. Watch for Federal hijacking of resources and all communication. Free speech will be criminalized.

The Liberals are close to pushing Canadians to use force to save this country.

John Feldsted
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

Re: Guaranteed basic income tops policy priorities for Liberal caucus at upcoming convention

Post by John Feldsted »

99pct wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:00 pm Unemployment insurance is a Provincial responsibility. The Liberals are sneaking in their control of the entire Canadian economy which means ultimate dictatorship control of every second of our lives and Provincial Governments are standing back and letting it happen. Watch for Federal hijacking of resources and all communication. Free speech will be criminalized.

The Liberals are close to pushing Canadians to use force to save this country.
Employment insurance is a federal jurisdiction and has been since 1940. Reference: Constitution Section 91 (2)(a).

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