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What is a Guaranteed Annual Income?

A guaranteed annual income (GAI) is an income support program that provides a basic minimum income and sets an income floor for every resident of a country. A guaranteed income provides a kind of “disaster insurance” that protects people from going without necessities such as food or shelter and can be integrated into the current tax system.

An example of the benefit of a guaranteed income: The current federal pension system is a guaranteed income program for people 65 years and older. It includes Old Age Pension (OAS) and the additional Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low income seniors and has resulted in only 5.9% of older Canadians living below the poverty line. With this guaranteed annual income for seniors, Canada has one of the lowest rates of elder poverty in the world1.

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Reference
1. Emery H, Fleisch V, McIntyre L. How a guaranteed annual income could put food banks out of business. The School of Public Policy SPP Research Papers. 2013;6(37):1-20.