What would a basic income guarantee look like?

Happy 10th International Basic Income Week! This marks the second-last post of the series (we started one day late). Today, we consider what a basic income guarantee could look like!

A basic income program could work like this:
There’d be a box to tick on income tax forms when the income reported falls below the basic income level. That would be the only thing to do to apply. Income level and residence requirements will be the only eligibility condition. Specifically, there would be no conditions about paid labour, and no reporting in to caseworkers. The Government would calculate the proper pay out for basic income and pay it out automatically at, probably, bi-weekly or monthly intervals. Recipients would be as free as everyone else to spend the money as they see fit.

Basic income would replace current welfare programs and perhaps some other income support programs depending on ultimate design decisions. It would NOT displace or preclude the enactment or enhancement of housing, employment, disability, health care or other benefits available to welfare recipients. The governing principle would be that no basic income recipient should end up worse off than before basic income was implemented!

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