Canadian province votes to trial Universal Basic Income

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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

  • As technology automates more jobs governments around the world are trialling UBI as a means to potentially mitigate social unrest and increasingly inequality


 

In the face of growing automation which many governments and analysts believe will lead to a rapid rise in global unemployment levels a Canadian province has unanimously voted in favour of trialling a Universal Basic Income (UBI), a form of social security where all the citizens of a given state or country are guaranteed to regularly receive a sum of money in addition to the money they earn elsewhere.

 

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As a concept UBI is naturally controversial which is why most governments, such as Finland, Holland, Japan, Scotland, the UK and USA are taking baby steps and voting on whether or not to run limited trials.

Prince Edward Island, the smallest Canadian Province, has been described as the best choice for the pilot due to its diminutive size and clear boundaries.

According to the successful bill, every citizen will receive a basic income in an attempt to reduce or “potentially eliminate poverty in the province”.

Green Party leader in Prince Edward’s legislature, Peter Bevan Baker, proposed the motion with support of all three other parties.

“A universal basic income could enable the greatest unleashing of human potential ever seen” said Bevan Baker.

The bill stated positive effects of UBI could include improved local economic growth, supporting entrepreneurship, reduced administrative complexity and costs, improved working conditions, reduced crime, improved health, and help to build vibrant rural communities.”

 

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The Green Party leader has admitted there are potential drawbacks to UBI such as the overall the cost of the scheme and whether it will deter unemployed people looking for work.

“This is exactly why we need a pilot project, so we can evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the costs,” he said.

The national Canadian government will use the pilot to weigh up the benefits against the heavy costs and will lay out their plans in detail early next year.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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