Ontario to launch guaranteed minimum income pilot program in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP) will give up to 4,000 low-income earners in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay a basic annual income of $17,000. Couples would earn $24,000 and people with disabilities would earn up to $6,000 on top of the basic amount.

Participants are allowed to work but their basic income will decrease by $0.50 for every dollar they earn by working. This project is meant to replace Ontario Works payments. 

However, Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, said people could become less motivated to work if they earn a basic income. "The fact that the basic income will come with no conditions or strings attached raises really important concerns about work disincentives."

The Ontario government will invest $50 million each year for the 3-year pilot program.

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