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Many Canadians support idea of basic income as emergency benefits prompt calls for consideration

Last Updated Jun 18, 2020 at 7:37 am PDT

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Many Canadians support the idea of a Universal Basic Income, according to the Angus Reid Institute

Some proposals have suggested basic income levels that range between $10,000 to $30,000

Canadians are concerned about where money would come from and whether UBI would make people less inclined to work

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As millions of people continue to receive federal aid, a new poll finds there is a lot of support for the idea of a Universal Basic Income in Canada.

Three-in-five respondents are in favour of a basic income, which would range from $10,000 to $30,000 a year, according to the Angus Reid Institute.

However, with suggestions it could cost anywhere from $15 billion to $90 billion, some worry about who would pay for it.

The survey finds more than 60 per cent of respondents say they would support the funds coming from higher income Canadians — but, as expected, those wealthier individuals aren’t as enthused about the idea.

Canadians are also concerned about whether or not a basic income would make some people less inclined to work.

“Close to half feel a UBI would make Canadians less inclined to work (55%) while a similar number disagree (45%),” the survey reads. “Further, Canadians are divided over whether a UBI is too expensive (54%) or if Canada can afford it (46%).”

In April, the federal Liberals rejected a call from the NDP to turn the Canada Emergency Wage Benefit into a universal benefit.

The pollster finds both Liberal and New Democrat voters are “overwhelmingly in favour” of a Universal Basic Income, with at least 75 per cent of respondents in each group saying so. Only about a quarter of past Conservative voters are in favour of a similar program, with the majority — 60 per cent — opposing the idea.