The government in British Columbia is launching research into basic income as a way to tackle poverty and the emerging economy.

David Green, from the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), will chair the expert committee and will be joined by Jonathan Rhys Kesselman, from the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, and Lindsay Tedds, from the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.

“Much of my work centres on policies that can reduce inequality and create a more just society,” said Green. “I am pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to an in-depth examination of the implications and benefits of a basic income and enhanced income support structures here in B.C.”

If the researchers believe it to be feasible, there could be a pilot basic income scheme in the province.

The research will consider the impact of automation and other technologies and how the principles of basic income could improve the existing income and social support system.

“The researchers will look at whether a basic income is a viable option to reduce poverty, build financial security, and increase inclusion and well-being,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This is a complex area of study, and our government looks forward to learning more about how to enhance the income-support system, to achieve measurable and lasting improvements for people living in poverty.”

The committee will begin work this summer, assisted by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

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