March 20, 2018
Our B.C. government is about to finish province-wide poverty reduction consultations. At a recent consultation meeting in Richmond, I heard from the coordinators that implementing an income guarantee has so far been the number one poverty reduction recommendation made by the public at the consultations. Despite this, the recent provincial budget committed only $4 million to “model” such a program, most likely a top-up to our abysmal welfare rates and low-wages. A “top-up” will provide only minimal relief to those in poverty and be a boon to low-wage employers who can continue to keep wages low. The group I belong to, Livable Income Vancouver, believes that instead we need implementation of a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI), an income guarantee that is universal, unconditional, individual, and set at rate that meets the cost of living. Livable Income Vancouver is calling on both our provincial and federal governments to implement a GLI that will promote the greatest autonomy, security, wellbeing and equality for all in B.C.