A local credit union is processing applications for a federal fund aimed to reduce COVID-19’s impact on small businesses. (File Photo)

OPINION: Universal basic income is a good thing

‘I’ve always loved change, so I’m rooting for a different way of life altogether’

It really is a strange new world since COVID-19 hit. I often wonder if life will ever go back to the way it was before.

But should we hope for things to return to the way they were previously, or should we hope for something new to spring from the ashes of COVID-19?

I guess it depends on how you perceived the world before the pandemic hit. If you didn’t enjoy life before, then obviously you will be cheering for something new and exciting.

If you loved the old way of life, then chances are you will struggle to adapt to change and wish for a return to how things used to be.

Me personally, I’ve always loved change, so I’m rooting for a different way of life altogether.

So what exactly would I change?

Well, for starters, one immediate thing I’d like to see implemented is a universal basic income system. This would be a continuous payment plan made to all persons regardless of income. I know, we already have two main income-support programs in place for dealing with the coronavirus crisis, but realistically speaking, it’s not enough and there’s always less fortunate people who end up slipping through the cracks or get stuck having to pay back monies owed at tax time (not to mention any monies deferred).

RELATED: COVID-19 pandemic sparks calls for Guaranteed Livable Income

With a guaranteed universal basic income system, people would be less worried about the future, could breathe easier knowing there will always be some kind of funds coming into their bank account, and I think it would really have a positive effect on mental health. I know I personally feel great whenever my bank account is flush.

I won’t get into the debate on how a universal basic income would affect taxes, as sometimes you need to put the health and safety of people who are less fortunate ahead of those who can afford the extra hit to their wallet.

Tyson Whitney is editor of the North Island Gazette.

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