Plurality Approval for Basic Income

| Filed under: Ontario

Plurality Approval for Basic Income
Most see basic income for needy only, not universal

In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1097 Ontario voters, 4-in-10 approve of the idea of a provincial basic income, to replace social support payments (40%), while just more than one third disapprove (35%). One quarter have no opinion on the issue (25%). When we polled this last in Ontario, in March, results were similar (approve - 41%, disapprove - 33%, don’t know - 26%).

Those most in favour of the plan include the youngest (48%), males (43%) rather than females (37%), among the least wealthy (54%), in northern Ontario (46%), among Liberals (57%) and, to a lesser extent, New Democrats (46%) and among the best educated (post grad - 50%).

Appropriate amount seen to be $20,000 to more than $30,000

When asked how much an annual basic income should be, if it were initiated, voters are split between an amount equal to “about $20,000” (29%) and “$30,000 or more” (28%). Fewer than a tenth suggest this payment should be “$10,000 or less” (8%). One quarter will not support the basic income idea, and will not supply a dollar amount (24%).

One half see basic income for the needy only, not universal

One half of voters think a basic income, if initiated, should be income-tested and destined only for the needy (48%), while one third this proportion think the payment should be universal, made to all regardless of income (18%). One fifth don’t agree with a basic income (19%) and less than a tenth don’t know (6%).

“This is an idea with a solid base of support which has yet to reach majority approval. It is well-liked by those with the most recourse to this kind of social support, the young and least wealthy. It is interesting to note that those who accept the idea, accept that the basic income must be enough to provide dignity in living. They don’t see this as a universal benefit, though" said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.