Guaranteed income for all Canadians, urge P.E.I. Liberal MPs

Under recommendation by P.E.I. Liberal MPs, the federal Liberals are considering whether to offer guaranteed income supplements to more than just Canadian seniors.

Liberal Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale says party could make issue an election platform

Liberal Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale says modest- and low-income Canadians are having a hard time making ends meet. (Susan Mas/CBC)

Under recommendation by P.E.I. Liberal MPs, the federal Liberals are considering whether to offer guaranteed income supplements to more than just Canadian seniors.              

The MPs, along with the party's women's commission, raised the idea at the national convention in Montreal last February.              

Delegates voted in support of the idea.              

Liberal Deputy Leader and former federal finance minister Ralph Goodale says his party recognizes modest- and low-income Canadians are having a harder time making ends meet,

"The typical middle-class family has not had an improvement in their income level of any consequence for the last 20, 25 or 30 years," said Goodale.

"The level of those incomes in the median part of the income scale has increased over those 30 years only by 14 or 15 per cent. That's less than half of one percentage point per year."

The Liberals could make the issue part of its election campaign, he says.

"It's obviously something that is being considered from a platform point of view," said Goodale.

"We're not to the point yet of publishing our platform, or finalizing exactly what will be in it, but this is a policy recommendation that has come from the party, and, obviously, we're looking through the details of how that could reasonably be done."

Goodale says a number of ways to supplement incomes are being explored, including the one currently being offered to Canadian seniors.               

He believes the $50 billion likely to be spent this year on the seniors' program is a good investment.

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