Today, B.C.’s Basic Income Expert Panel released its final report, Covering All the Basics: Reforms for a More Just Society. The report makes recommendations on transforming our existing social support system in keeping with the principles of basic income. Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Green Party, MLA for Cowichan Valley has issued the following statement:
“My colleague Adam Olsen and I thank the panel for their work and recognize the extensive research that went into producing this comprehensive and thoughtful report. We have been clear for many years that basic income is an idea that warrants serious investigation in B.C. That’s why we made the requirement to investigate basic income a core part of our governing agreement with the BC NDP in the last minority government. We welcome the result of that work in this final report today.
“The Expert Panel makes a number of recommendations that closely align with what the BC Greens have long advocated for.
“They outline a number of steps that need to be taken now. Steps like creating a basic income for people with disabilities, youth aging out of care, and women fleeing violence, as well as making the income assistance emergency $300 supplement permanent.
“There is no time to waste. Many British Columbians were feeling left behind and left out of the benefits of our economy well before the pandemic hit last year. COVID-19 has worsened inequality in our society and has left far more people facing serious economic insecurity. We expect to see these recommendations brought into the government's budget this year.
“These reforms are necessary steps that can be taken immediately towards the goal of establishing a society where no-one is left behind, and where everyone has their basic needs met. The NDP government needs to recognize the urgent need for transformation of our social safety net, including implementation of basic-income style policies outlined in this report and beyond. Creating equity and real income security for all British Columbians has to be a guiding principle as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Investigating basic income was a foundational component of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC NDP and the BC Green Caucus, on which the minority government from 2017-2020 was based. The Basic Income Expert Panel was comprised of Dr. David Green, Dr. Lindsay Tedds, and Dr. Jonathan Rhys Kesselman. They worked with a team of researchers to deliver 65 recommendations and a set of research papers exploring various aspects of basic income, inequality and poverty in B.C.
B.C. Green Caucus
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