A Single Program That Could Eliminate All Other Welfare Programs

May 10, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

In 1974 the Canadian government launched a pilot program where they guaranteed everybody a minimum income reports Vivian Belik. The data from the study has yet to be properly coded but analysis so far shows that:

  • The program called ‘mincome’ covered ~1,000 families.
  • The program ended up costing $17 million – substantially more than the few million it was projected to cost.
  • The program came to a premature end during an economic recession in 1978.
  • Hospital visits dropped by 8.5% possibly as a result of the program. Many hospital visits are the consequences of poverty.
  • If Canada were to reduce hospital visits across the country by 8.5% today then it would save the government $4 billion.
  • Mothers did reduce the amount of time that they worked but that was because they now had the option to stay at home and take care of their children.
  • Teenagers worked less as well. They were more likely to graduate, and since they weren’t as pressured to find a job, they waited until something they could be passionate about came along.
  • By introducing such a program the government could also remove all other welfare programs – thus significantly saving upon administrative costs.

To read about what happened to overall productivity, how mincome was different from welfare, what a contemporary mincome program would look like, why those who are currently on welfare are penalized, why the program has its political detractors, and the conservative senator who would support such a program, click here.

Source: The Dominion