VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With so many people out of work as we deal with this pandemic, there are calls for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income, but the former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada says he is not convinced it’s the right approach.
Philip Cross, who is now with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, says, people simply won’t have the same drive to develop their skills if they have money handed to them on a regular basis.
“Will people who receive it, particularly young people, develop those characteristics — hard work, discipline, for example — acquiring more education that are required to succeed in the labour market in the long run?” he asks.
“Because very clearly, there is a certain percentage of our population, not a majority, but there is an unscrupulous element out there that will take the money and run.”
Given the economic costs related to COVID-19, adding another massive social spending program doesn’t make sense in Cross’s assessment.
He says, given the billions Canada has already given out during the crisis — the last thing we need is a new social spending program.
Earlier this week, the City of Vancouver says there has been a 27 percent drop in business revenue, equating to around 2-billion dollars.