September 16, 2020
The concept of Basic Income is front and centre once again in policy and advocacy circles, and interest in BI is gaining across the country. While critics and proponents of Basic Income alike discuss program design and financing options, few have spoken about principles that should guide the design of a Basic Income. If anti-poverty advocates aren’t clear on these principles, we are unlikely to get the basic income we want.
Basic Income must move and keep families out of poverty, and it must be supported by a web of accompanying policies to end discrimination and income inequity. In 2016, when Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot was being designed, Campaign 2000 developed 6 guiding principles which provide an anti-poverty framework through which to assess any BI program. These foundational principles are:
- Poverty Eradication
- Inclusive Access
- Ongoing Targeted Supports
- Strong Public Services
- Ending Structural Inequities
- Better Wages for Workers
In order for BI to successfully accelerate the reduction in poverty, and ensure dignity for all who are living in low income, these principles must be considered foundational architecture in the design of any BI program.
Read C2000’s 6 Principles to Guide Basic Income Design
Note: These principles were originally published in a chapter which was part of a compendium released in October 2016 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office entitled, “Basic Income: Rethinking Social Policy.”, edited by Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy. The full compendium can be found at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/basic-income.