FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Charlottetown (May 6, 2014) – Mike Redmond, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island, is urging the Legislative Assembly to develop the idea of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) by sending it to the Legislative Committee on Health, Social Development and Seniors.
“It is good that there has been lots of talk about the Basic Income Guarantee for all Islanders but now it is time for action. Let’s take the idea to Committee, produce current income data and hold public hearings on the way forward,” stated Redmond
In April 2014, the idea of a basic income guarantee was discussed in the Legislative Assembly for the first time. In August 2013, NDP Leader Mike Redmond had suggested Prince Edward Island as the location of the basic income guarantee pilot project recommended in the Canadian Medical Association report called What Makes Us Sick.
“The NDP firmly believes that the public health system can work well only if everybody can afford to be physically and mentally healthy. Each person needs the income to afford proper nutrition, education, recreation and community engagement,” added the NDP Leader.
In the last fiscal year, $2.3 million went unspent in the social assistance program and for this fiscal year, the same budget was cut by almost $2 million. In July 2013, a study by the University of Toronto indicated that 27% of Island children lived in households that could not afford adequate nutritious food.
“How can it be that we have so many people in need and not have the right programming to help them? Let’s move to a solution that will improve the health and well-being of our people as well as strengthen our local economy. Let’s move to the basic income guarantee,” concluded Redmond.
Leader, NDP PEI