Ontario, Canada, is planning to experiment with a basic income trial. Four thousand people in three regions of the province will receive additional income till 2020, based on their current salary. Eligible recipients will be between 18 and 64 years old and will be in the low-income group.
Premier Wynne said that one of the goals of the pilot project is to say to the people of Ontario that the government is with you.
The income will be enough to cover their food, transportation, clothing and utilities expenses. The program is expected to cost Canada $50 million a year. Eligible recipients can get up to $16,989 a year.
Finland is also experimenting with the concept of basic income and is giving 2,000 people $590 a month.
Critics have been arguing over the effectiveness of universal basic income. Studies say that people who get basic income do not become lazier and, in fact, work longer hours. They also use drugs and alcohol less frequently. However, these studies have been done in developing countries, and may not hold the same results in developed countries, say critics.
Silicon Valley has given a lot of attention to the idea of a universal basic income. A technology hotbed, some of the questions it asks is what will happen to jobs as technology accelerates. Incubtor, Y Combinator, is to give monthly cash to 100 families in Oakland, California. Only time will tell whether these experiments in universal basic income can offer any real solutions.
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