The Finnish example is typical of the fiscal folly. The Finns propose a monthly transfer of €800 ($1,200) a person, which sounds nice until you do the math and figure out this would require a doubling of existing taxes to fund the program. This transfer would barely replace what low-income Finns already get under their existing social support system, so the bloated scheme would simply pay out big cheques to those who don’t need them, doing little to help those who are struggling. Not only would this plan be unimaginably expensive, but it’s hard to see why there would be any social gain that would begin to offset the costs.
In Canadian terms, an equivalent transfer of $1,200 a month would cost the treasury more than $500-billion a year. Of course, you might then be able to cancel existing social assistance, child benefits, employment insurance and Old Age Security – but that would only add up to about $100-billion in savings, leaving you $400-billion short. As a reference point, current Canadian federal revenues are about $300-billion a year, so we’d need to more than double our current taxes to pay for it. In the Canadian political world, new programs costing $1-billion or $2-billion generate intense political heat, so a Finnish-style basic income proposal costing in the hundreds of billions is simply a non-starter for Canada.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Everyone talks about basic income. Here’s why they don’t implement it – The Globe and Mail
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