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Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) of Two Policy Alternatives: Basic Income and Basic Services

Cameron, Anna and Tedds, Lindsay M. (2020): Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) of Two Policy Alternatives: Basic Income and Basic Services.

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In this paper, we apply GBA+ to two potentially transformative policy approaches—basic income and basic services—to consider their promise in the context of B.C.’s poverty reduction strategy. The core of our analysis is centred on evaluating how each proposal might address poverty in B.C. along intersectional lines, and according to the key dimensions or principles of poverty mitigation and prevention outlined by the B.C. government in its poverty reduction strategy: affordability, opportunity, reconciliation, and social. We also draw on insights regarding the systemic barriers that contribute to greater risk and prevalence of poverty for people whose identities are situated at various axes of difference. We not only consider how the proposals may produce “tangible” outcomes, but also focus on the various ways in which they could transform experiences within and beyond the system of programs, or erect barriers that are not immediately obvious or that may not exist for a “neutral” subject. We demonstrate that the basic income and basic services approaches both have immediate practical value, as well as exhibiting transformative potential, though such impacts largely hinge on how the policies are envisioned and implemented. The most important takeaways from this work are that intersectional groups need access to high-quality public services and, relatedly, that any policy approach that “trades off” services for income will have potentially devastating impacts—particularly for already vulnerable groups.

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