Parliamentary budget officer says basic income program could halve poverty rate


A Toronto Liberal MP who has championed the idea of a basic income idea says he knows the government will likely balk at the 85-billion-dollar price tag to introduce the program.
But Nathaniel Erskine-Smith says a report by parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux doesn't factor in things like the cost of poverty or the savings that could be incurred by rolling some existing federal income supports into a basic income program.
Giroux's report suggests a federal program could cut national poverty rates by almost half in 2022, and see employees reduce their hours worked by 1.3 per cent.
Erskine-Smith says he hopes the government builds towards a universal basic income by increasing the Canada Child Benefit, the workers benefit and the guaranteed income supplement for seniors.