Canadian Minimum Income Project

There is a new Canadian experiment in a basic income plan to try reducing poverty.

A Canadian province is to run a pilot project aimed at providing every citizen a minimum basic income of $1,320 (£773) a month.

The provincial government of Ontario confirmed it is holding public consultations on the $25m (£15m) project over the next two months, which could replace social assistance payments administered by the province for people aged 18 to 65.

People with disabilities will receive $500 (£292) more under the scheme, and individuals who earn less than $22,000 (£13,000) a year after tax will have their incomes topped up to reach that threshold.

The pilot report was submitted by Conservative ex-senator Hugh Segal, who suggested the project should be tested on three distinct sites: in the north, south and among the indigenous community of Ontario.

Areas with high levels of poverty and food insecurity should be chosen for the test project, Mr Segal recommended.

“It is in fact the precinct of rational people when looking to encourage work and community engagement and give people a floor beneath which they’re not allowed to fall,” he said.

One in five children live in poverty in Canada, according to Unicef, and a recent poll of some 1,500 Canadians found two-thirds of those polled were open to the idea of basic income.