8 June 2016

For immediate release

Bevan-Baker renews call for Universal Basic Income

On the heels of the Chief Public Health Office’s recent report, Health for all Islanders, examining the social determinants of health, Island Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker is renewing previous calls for the provincial government to move toward implementing a Universal Basic Income.

“The Chief Public Health Office has clearly identified the major role that socioeconomic factors play in the health of Islanders,” says Bevan-Baker. “It reinforces what many have already been saying: that the best way to improve the health of Islanders is to reduce poverty. We believe a Universal Basic Income would be the most effective way to improve the social determinants of health for all Islanders.”

A Universal Basic Income would allow Islanders to take control of their own health by reducing or eliminating the economic barriers that prevent them from doing so. “This is also about fairness,” says Bevan-Baker. “All Islanders deserve to have the same opportunity to live a healthy life, which sadly right now is not the case.”

During the May 2015 provincial election, leaders of all four political parties in PEI agreed on the merits of a Universal Basic Income. Despite this rare multi-partisan agreement, and a supportive federal Minister, government has made little progress on this issue, as repeated questions in the House have made clear.

Economists across the political spectrum widely agree on the potential benefits of basic income programs. Aside from the considerable benefits to health, poverty, and other aspects of people’s lives, a Universal Basic Income would enable all Islanders to fully participate in the economy, which would be a major driver of economic growth and prosperity in the province.

Recognizing that such a large program would take time and effort to implement, Bevan-Baker has previously suggested that the provincial government introduce a pilot project on PEI. “Prince Edward Island’s small size makes us an ideal place for a pilot project of a Universal Basic Income. There is an opportunity here for us to lead the country by creating a healthier, fairer, and more prosperous society for all Islanders.”

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Contact:
Peter Bevan-Baker
MLA Kellys Cross-Cumberland
Leader of the Third Party
902-620-3977
902-388-8171 (cell)
psbevanbaker@assembly.pe.ca

 

2 Comments

  1. John Getson 9 June 2016 at 11:52 am

    Thank you sir

     
  2. Bill Kays 9 June 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I put it to you that the Federal Government already is using PEI as a pilot program to see how much suffering a people will take before they revolt. In the fed’s mind we are the ‘canary in the coal mine’. The feds control us economically. If a person’s reason to become an MLA or MP is income, stay home and stop annoying us. If you don’t want to be a public SERVANT stay home. Yes, we need a Guaranteed Livable Income for PEI and it will pay for itself, although this headline came to mind to help pay for the Guaranteed Living Income. “New Brunswick Premier and Cabinet Ministers To Have Pay Cut Until Books Balanced”. At least NB is talking about their provincial debt, as we should. Pay cuts for all provincial MLAs should be in order in PEI also. MLA’s should only be paid if their income dictates it plus an MLA should only be paid what welfare recipients get. Only when the rulers become servants again will they know this reality, to what people living on a (very low) fixed income. Will they be able to govern with the proper attitude? We need the guaranteed livable income ‘plus tax relief also’. The poor should never have a tax burden placed on them for anything, not even sales tax. In the real world, paying HST or any other tax is theft from the people. It’s hard to pay the HST when all you have is a EI cheque, a welfare cheque, etc. Once on a fixed low income your perspective on things changes as you realize the difficulties of paying taxes. Maintaining a ‘poor’ class is old school thinking and the oligarchs time is coming .. quickly. So let us strike while the iron is hot. Many people have been thinking about the real value in having a guaranteed livable income.

     

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