Majority of Canadians support a universal basic income: study

Jun 19 2020, 11:19 am

Most Canadians support the concept of bringing in a universal basic income (UBI), but the majority also don’t want to pay for it.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute found that, of the 1,510 Canadians who responded to the online survey between June 8 and 10, the majority support bringing in some form of UBI.

Something similar has already been seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, as over seven million Canadians have been supported through the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

The New Democratic Party’s Jagmeet Singh called for the CERB to be turned into a universal benefit in April, though the proposal was rejected by the Liberal Party, according to the Angus Reid report.

The study found that 59% of respondents supported some form of universal basic income, with just 30% opposing.

universal basic income

Angus Reid Institute

However, of that same sampling, only 36% agreed that they’d be willing to pay more in taxes to fund it, while 64% disagreed.

When broken up by region, Alberta was the only hold-out where those in opposition outnumbered those in support by a margin of 47% to 42% — all other provinces had varying degrees of majority support, though Saskatchewan/Manitoba were at just 49% in support to 37% opposed.

universal basic income

Angus Reid Institute

Those who had voted Conservative in the past federal election were far more likely to be opposed to the concept than those who voted Liberal or NDP, with 60% of Conservative voters opposed compared to just 13% for Liberals and 11% for the NDP voters.

As for where the money for universal basic income should be coming from, 61% believed that the wealthy should pay more in taxes to support some type of guaranteed income, with 39% opposed.

Unsurprisingly, those making over $150,000 a year were the least likely to be onboard with paying more in taxes to support UBI, and those making under $25,000 were the only group where a majority stated that they’d be willing to see higher taxes to make it happen.

universal basic income

Angus Reid Institute

All ages and genders represented in the study supported a universal basic income, though men aged 35 and up were most opposed.