Election 2021

UBI could help tens of thousands of people in Lethbridge area

Did you know that the most recent federal census reported over 50,000 people making less than $40,000 a year?

One topic that has been in the news recently is universal basic income.

The idea behind it is that every person receives a set amount of money every month. If the amount is high enough, it could help reduce poverty, improve postsecondary admission rates, and increase quality of life.

Some proponents of UBI take it even further, advocating for a guaranteed livable income, to make sure everyone can at least meet their living needs.

This could benefit thousands of people in the Lethbridge area.

According to the 2016 federal census, the median wage for Lethbridge and nearby communities in the county was $37,099. Of the 88,240 people in the census classified as having income, 47,015 of them made less than $40,000. That’s 53.2%.

And if we add in the 3,610 who received no income, that’s over 50,000 people in the Lethbridge riding who made either near or under the median income. That’s 55.1% of all those 15 and over in the area.

More than half of those brought home less than $20,000 in 2016, including the 3,610 who brought home nothing.

Clearly, a lot of people could benefit from the federal government implementing a UBI (or a GLI).

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news stories, focusing on politics and labour.

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