Budget watchdog says a national basic income program would cost $76B a year

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A federal shell out watchdog says it could cost federal coffers more than $76 billion a year to specify a national, guaranteed minimum income similar to the one being tested in Ontario.

The formal budget officer says the federal government would have to tumble to about $43.1 billion to cover the full cost of the program because Ottawa already spends all over $32.9 billion a year on support to low-income Canadians.

A guaranteed nadir income often means different things to different people, but at its nucleus it can be described as a no-strings-attached benefit that governments provide to citizens in preference to of various targeted social benefits.

The budget office report manumited today estimates that annual payments under a federal program to qualified individuals would amount to $16,989, while couples would learn $24,027, before deductions for any income earned.

More than 7.5 million people discretion benefit from the measure, the report says.

The federal Liberals demand been lukewarm to the idea at a national level, arguing that the Canada Babe Benefit, among other measures, amounts to a guaranteed minimum return.

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