Ontario is providing more than 4,000 people with a basic income, successfully completing the enrollment phase of the three-year pilot.
Ontario launched the pilot one year ago today, becoming a leader in real-world testing of whether a basic income can help people living on low incomes. With enrollment complete, the pilot will now look at how a basic income might expand opportunities and job prospects while providing greater security for people living on low incomes and their families.
Through the pilot, people who earn less than the basic income amount through employment receive regular payments to help them better afford basic needs such as housing and food. Providing a predictable amount of money each month may also allow them to start or continue to work, or further their education.
In the pilot, participants in Lindsay, Hamilton Brantford and Brant County and Thunder Bay receive regular payments so they can better afford basic needs such as food and housing. This includes:
Up to $16,989 per year for a single person, less 50 per cent of any earned income
Up to $24,027 per year for a couple, less 50 per cent of any earned income
Up to an additional $6,000 per year for a person with a disability.
Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential is part of the government’s plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool childcare from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
As part of the study, participants will complete surveys regularly.
Led by Dr. Kwame McKenzie, Special Advisor to the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee is monitoring the pilot for rigour and integrity. A third-party research group — led by researchers, experts and academics at St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University — will evaluate the results.