Reactions to BC Panel Recommending 65 tweaks to existing social assistance systems are more 'just' than a basic income for British Columbia, published Jan 28 2021. https://bcbasicincomepanel.ca/
Report recommends against basic income in British Columbia, says it's no cure-all
Basic income and support services aren’t mutually exclusive, she said, and current programs don’t deliver much of the autonomy the report praises. “It goes back to the deserving and the undeserving,” said Forget, noting people with disabilities, youth aging out of care and seniors are seen as deserving while others are not.
The arithmetic is hostage to the panel’s political assessments and value judgments – which, unlike arithmetic, are open to debate. So the panel hasn’t really debunked the basic income, or even rejected it. It’s just said it doesn’t see it as being feasible for B.C., based on a particular set of assumptions...many of the panel’s recommendations for reform of the system look a whole lot like a basic income.
Should we treat the symptoms or cure the disease?
The BC Basic Income Panel's research avoids discussing the biggest problems a basic income will solve and provides 65 very good solutions to some of the symptoms we are experiencing due to the larger problem of an economy that is failing people and causing poverty in the first place.
The real solution - long term income security with the type of decisions, planning, risk taking and innovation that could create is not among their 65 suggestions.
The B.C. NDP government may well use the expert panel as a rationale to do little if anything other than tinker incrementally with a myriad of programs. Poverty levels in B.C. will not come down as a result of any of report’s recommendations.
There are lessons here for those who care about government and the quality of expert advice it seeks and, on occasion, receives. The expert panel would have benefited from a political scientist or, heaven forbid, one or two people actually living in poverty sharing the pen.