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安省居民每月每人真能白拿$1000?
Don’t fall for media hype over basic income program

近来一篇声称安省政府拟推出基本收入计划的文章刷爆华人社交媒体,该文称,无论收入多少,安省政府会每月会向所有居民发放$1000元。该计划旨在吸引更多居民、移民和难民支持自由党,很可能在下次省选前得以实施。

An article that has gone viral on Chinese social media states that the Ontario government plans to roll out a basic income program that sends out a $1000 cheque to all residents, regardless of their income level.  The program, which intends to attract Liberal supporters from residents, immigrants and refugees, is likely to be implemented prior to the next election.

 
政府向所有居民无条件发钱显然极具诱惑力。毋庸置疑,这篇报道引发社交媒体热炒,并让许多微信读者兴奋不已。的确,这类基本收入计划是自由党主张的完美体现,可为全民提供真正的社会保障,确保居民经济状况不会跌至贫困线以下;它可以给予居民更多得以追逐人生梦想和职业目标的自由, 让人们不再受失业的威胁;它可以躲避新兴“零工”经济的副效应,并有助于重建加国支离破碎的福利体系。

A free handout to everyone without strings attached is extremely appealing. The story has stirred great media hype, leaving many WeChat readers thrilled. Indeed, basic income represents the perfect Liberal ideology. It offers genuine social security to everyone, and ensures that no one falls below a minimum standard of living. It gives residents more freedom, allowing them to pursue their life dreams and career choices. It protects people from rising insecurity in today’s precarious labour market, avoids the dark side of the emerging “gig” economy, and helps rebuild our crumbling welfare state.

 
但实际上,基本收入一词曾以多种“变身”呈现,诸如保障年度收入,基本最低收入和负所得税等。这一概念由来已久,并且在过去也曾引发热议。芬兰最近宣布拟研究基本收入方案,荷兰和瑞士也都在讨论相关提案。安省预算案亦提议启动基本收入试点项目。

But basic income, the idea of which goes by various labels – guaranteed annual income, basic minimum income, negative income tax, is an old idea that has been under heated discussions over the past. Finland recently announced plans to study a basic income scheme. Proposals are also under discussion in the Netherlands and Switzerland. And Ontario budget has proposed a plan for a basic income pilot project.

 
但尽管已经多方辩论并有各种试点项目,相关计划的实施仍无太大进展。根据《环球邮报》的分析,加国实施基本收入计划的成本高得惊人。如果联邦政府每月向所有国民发放$1200元,将导致国库每年耗费$5000亿元。而取消现有的社会援助、儿童福利、失业保险和养老津贴只能节省下大约$1000亿元,还留有$4000亿元资金缺口。鉴于联邦政府每年收入只有$3000亿元,我们只能靠加税为该计划买单。而从加国的政治体系来看,耗资数千亿元的计划根本无法得以实施。

But despite various debates and pilot projects, there is little progress made in implementing the program. According to the analysis by the Globe and Mail, the program costs are astonishingly high in Canada. A transfer of $1200 a month would cost $500 billion a year from the public purse. By canceling existing social assistance, child benefits, employment insurance and Old Age Security would only add about $100 billion in savings, leaving $400 billion short. Given federal revenue of $300 billion a year, we need more than our current taxes to pay for it. Under the Canadian political system, a program costing in the hundreds of billions is simply a non-starter.

 
至于安省的试点项目,由于它必须依靠大幅削减各种社会项目和大力压缩社会保障体系而筹集资金,公共部门大裁员再所难免(原语句不通)。

As for the pilot project in Ontario, the savings for the program relies on massive cut of numerous social programs and the removal of huge swaths of social safety net, which, needless to say, would lead to massive job cuts in the public sector.

 
显然,一个年入$6万并可享受各种福利的人士如果丢掉工作而仅拿那区区$2万是不会高兴的。如果胡达克是因为猛砍10万公务员职位的竞选承诺而导致其败北,那么不难想像这一计划当之会遭到工会部门强烈抵制,他们会使出全身解数阻拦其实施,并将其扼杀于萌芽之中。

Someone who makes $60K/year + benefits wouldn’t be happy to receive $20k/year + no benefits.  If Tim Hudak’s campaign promise of slashing 100,000 public sector jobs led to his demise, brace for major pushbacks from the Ontario public sector unions who would fight tooth and nails to nib the program in the butt. 

 
如果政府筹划不当,该个看似吸引人的计划会对社会福利的体系建设起到相反作用。《多伦多星报》的一篇社论就称,该计划甚至有可能变成一个充满诱惑的陷阱。

If not designed properly, it could undermine efforts to achieve more social justice, and this seemingly appealing program could backfire. A Toronto Star editorial argues that the program could turn out to be an alluring trap.

 
事实上,这项所谓的基本收入计划尚处于起步阶段,而试点项目也离最终实施相距甚远。显然,睿智的读者是不会轻信媒体炒作的。

In fact, this basic income program is still in its infancy, and a pilot project is nowhere near the final implementation. As always, sophisticated readers won’t fall for the media hype. 
 
 

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