BC Basic Income Panel

Research Papers


Income Assistance in British Columbia: Reforms Along Basic Income Lines

Gillian Petit & Lindsay M. Tedds (University of Calgary)

IA is the Government of British Columbia’s largest income assistance program, with an annual cost of just over $2B and reaching more than 8% of households. It is a program that is very complex to access and has complex eligibility rules and design features. It is also associated with a large amount of stigma and does not foster the financial stability and financial security of its clients. IA is also a poor tool to support those who engage in vital unpaid work (e.g., child care; caregiving for ill, disabled, or elderly family members; volunteering), not only because of the stigma associated with the program but also because the benefit levels are inadequate. The purpose of this paper is to put the IA program through the lens of BI principles to recommend reforms that would move IA closer to BI principles and away from being a “funder of last resort.” Taken together, reforms based on BI principles should make IA a more inclusive program that recognizes the worth of all people. These reforms will also help reduce income poverty rates and poverty depths, preventing poverty, and help those caught in or about to be caught in a poverty trap.

Read paper

Systems-Level Reforms to B.C.’s Income and Social Support Programs Along Basic Income Lines

Gillian Petit & Lindsay M. Tedds (University of Calgary)

B.C. residents are offered a large, complex web of income and social support programs. Those programs tend to be difficult to access, difficult to understand, and difficult to navigate, and are much more a collection of disparate programs than a cohesive and consistent system targeting an overriding objective. As a result, many potentially eligible persons do not apply for programs they might be eligible for, due to a lack of knowledge or a lack of time and energy; many of these potentially eligible persons are already dealing with other complex and stressful situations, such as searching for employment and/or dealing with medical conditions. The purpose of this paper is to consider whether system-level reforms to B.C.’s income and social supports could make the system more consistent with BI principles (detailed below). This would be a first step toward a more complete contemplation of a BI. This paper focuses on reforms that would apply across the whole system. Petit and Tedds (2020a) detail reforms to B.C.’s biggest income support program: Income Assistance (IA).

Read paper

All Rights Reserved.

Web Director | Corey Allen

Web Designer | Kimberly Leung

Web Developer | Armadillo Creative